SO… YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
In my single digit years my dad worked as a jack-of-all-trades for a local church. He would chauffeur the nuns and priests to appointments and help them with their shopping. He passed the basket for collections and maintained the church building. He was even the janitor at the catholic elementary school and kept law and order on the school bus, as he drove the uniformed kiddies to and fro. I was always ready to join him whenever he had an errand to run for one of them, so on this one particular day, when the monseigneur requested his presence, I tagged along. My mother argued that I had my first dance recital that evening, but dad, who had a propensity for disagreeing with mom, said he’d have me back in plenty of time. He would not let his ballerina miss her first recital. When we arrived at the rectory, I asked my dad if I could play outside. As the monseigneur was waiting at the door, my father waved me off and away I ran.
The church parking lot was empty, and I remember running and skipping between the white lines meant for giant Oldsmobiles and big black Cadillacs. I spinned and twirled and danced, while I hummed tunes that I knew I would be dancing to that very evening. I hadn’t been whirling for very long before I heard my name being called.
Directly across the street from the church lot lived a friend of mine, and when I saw her I was overcome with excitement. She would be joining me at the recital that night, and my first thought was, “Perfect! We can practice together.”
Waving frantically, I broke into a run, heading toward the steps that lead to the sidewalk. The joy of getting to practice the one thing I loved most with a friend that shared that passion as well, had me on cloud 9 and I could barely contain my enthusiasm.
Blinded by the excitement, I never noticed the steps in front of me. In an instant, I was tumbling down the stairs and sliding, face first on the concrete, like Utley stealing second. I remember screaming, and the rest is a blur. I don’t know how much later, but I found myself cradled in my dad’s arms. There was blood on his shirt and there were tears in his eyes. At home, my mom tended to my wounds, while dad sat motionless in a kitchen chair, head in his hands. I had bruises on my cheeks and my hands had been unmercifully scraped. I remember crying, not sobbing uncontrollably or wailing, just softly crying. I told my mom she had to hurry because we would be late for the recital. I suppose I might have been in shock or something similar because I didn’t realize how badly I’d been bruised. A tear dropped from my mother’s eye as she gently cleansed my knees. They were cut so badly that walking wasn’t even an option, let alone dancing. At least not that day.
I never danced anymore that I could recall, I don’t know why. I hate to think that I gave up, but that was a long time ago, and I just don’t remember. I asked my mom today, but she didn’t remember why I never went back to dancing school. It’s all good, though. I guess I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina, but I went on to do so many other things that have made me dance. Maybe not like a ballerina, but in my heart.
Join me and others over at Ailsa’s blog and come see all the dancing going on over there. Just click here.
Many thanks to Ailsa for hosting and to you all for visting. 🙂