Chart Number 216

April 29, 2016

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

At the end of last summer the kids decided they wanted to give Irish dancing a try. They’ve tried other types of dance, and between personal preferences and what’s available in town it was time for a change. So we began exploring and went to our local park district for Irish dancing lessons.

This past weekend the girls participated in their first recital. They had two performances, one on Saturday evening and the second a Sunday matinee. The Saturday night performance started at 7, and during the second intermission after the kids finished their portion of the evening we whisked them away and ducked out.

We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and talked about the recital. My husband asked the kids why they liked Irish dancing so much.

“[Seven] likes it because it has lots of bouncing in it,” Nine said with that all-knowing look. “It’s perfect for her.”

We all shared that look with her, and Seven grinned. It’s well-known family lore how much Seven can’t sit still. Now we have something productive where she can apply her bouncing.

***

A little later in the meal, Nine asked why we didn’t stay for the whole recital. The Contemporary dance pieces formed the first third, and the Irish dances made up the second third. The ballet was due to start after the second intermission, but it was almost 9 p.m. by then.

“We wanted to make sure you girls got dinner and got home on time,” I said. “You must be tired from all the rehearsals this week and the performance.”

“I’m not tired,” Nine replied right away.

“Yeah, Di-Di never gets tired,” Seven said with a smile and a playful roll of the eyes.

I grinned at her. Another part of family lore: Nine supposedly never gets tired. Ever. It doesn’t matter how late it is or how hard she’s driven herself during the day or the week. Her standard response to the question is, “I’m not tired.”

It amuses me how well the girls know each other so well.

***

The girls had such a good time at the recital and have enjoyed Irish dancing so much that I think they’re willing to consider it as a career.

Earlier in the week after we dropped Seven at school and made our way to Nine’s school, Nine asked, “Mamma, can you study anything you want in college?”

I wanted to be careful in how I answered the question. I want my children to feel free enough to explore their interests. I also don’t want them to be stuck with a choice that leaves them wanting later in life.

“Yes, you can study almost anything,” I said, “but Daddy and I want you and [Seven] to study something that would help you get a good job.”

“Okay,” she said, “then I think I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

“What’s that?”

“A dolphin trainer. But they say that when you go to be a dolphin trainer you start by cleaning poop and stuff. I don’t know if I would want to do that.”

“Well, it’s good to have a Plan B in case that doesn’t work out,” I said pragmatically.

“I have a Plan B,” she declared.

“What’s that?”

“Professional Irish dancer.”

I didn’t say anything; I figured it wasn’t the right time to bring up the difficulty of making it as a professional dancer or even a dolphin trainer. If Sea World continues to bow to pressure from the media and tourists, dolphin trainers may eventually be out of jobs. And the length of career for dancers can be shorter than the dancer would want. But it’s good to know Nine is considering her options.

***

Over the weekend we got into a discussion about Boo from Monsters Inc. and how she thought Sully was a cat instead of a monster.

“She was probably two or three,” I said. “Just old enough to know what a cat is but not old enough to have any idea what a monster is. And his ears are a little pointy like a cat’s.”

The girls nodded in agreement. The conversation turned to the scene in the movie when Boo needs to go to the bathroom and how she started singing on the toilet.

“That was so funny,” Seven said with a giggle. “What little kid sings on the toilet? I mean, I sing in the shower sometimes.”

All of them sing on the toilet,” I replied. “Both of you used to do it too.”

They giggled.

“Good thing grownups don’t do that,” I went on.

“They don’t?” Seven asked.

Nine thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, grownups don’t do that,” she affirmed.

“Grownups are funny,” Seven said with a grin.

Sure. But I don’t think I’ll be belting out any Adele in the bathroom any time soon.

***

Today as I drove the girls to their after-school activities—Seven’s cello lesson, followed directly by their art lesson—we heard the opening bars for the song Everybody Wants to Rule the World by the 1980s group Tears for Fears. I turned up the volume right away and did a little car dancing.

“It’s a song that Mamma knows,” Nine told her sister.

Seven groaned. “Great, she’s listening to an elderly song!”

I huffed my annoyance and kept dancing.

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