Susan's Blog

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oh, Baby

I’m glad that I made the decision to teach Baby Bellydance one more session this year. Just the second graders, not the kindergartners. The last class of the previous session convinced me. I had each of them perform — we called it “Nightclub” — and I was really impressed by their talent. One of them is actually good enough almost to do Open Mic night at the Middle East Club in Cambridge. Were it appropriate. I’m not kidding. She smiled and made eye contact the whole time; she added these little kicks and head flips — I don’t know where she got all that, I don’t think I am even that expressive when I dance.

Then when all the parents came upstairs to get the girls, one of the students said, “Let’s all hold hands and dance in a circle!” Imagine being so innocent and happy that you want to just hold hands and dance in a circle. And so we did. I think it was that moment when I decided I had just to do it again next session. I can’t believe how wonderful those girls are. I know I am their teacher, but I also kind of love them like daughters.

Today at pick-up I ran into one of my friends, who has three little daughters. The two older girls (second grade and kindergarten) have taken my classes often. The middle one is a kindergartner and she is so adorable: dusky skin, long brown hair, mischievous eyes. She looks the way I imagine a girl of mine would look. The little trumbanik climbed up onto the bench and reached up to me, utterly confident in her assumption that I would pick her up. So I did. What a feeling, to hold an enthusiastic little child against me again. The weight, the warmth, the closeness of the sweet face. Then the baby, she’s a preschooler, barely more than a toddler, demanded her turn in my arms, so I put down the one and picked up the other; light and easy, used to being held. On my hip as if it were only yesterday that Ben, or Max, or Nat were there.

I told Ned sometimes I can hardly bear it to be done with having children. I’m not too old, I say. It is his decision for the most part, not mine. This is one area where we sharply disagree. But — I also know that I have grown a whole new life since my children have become such separate individuals. And they just shine on their own, and I stand and watch, captivated, but untethered, like a boat floating in the bright comforting beam of the lighthouse.


Don’t you just love that innocence? Asking to hold hands and dance in a circle, it’s wonderful.

I watch “Dancing with the Stars” with my oldest son, and he wants us to dance along with the stars…the Lindy Hop, the Tango, whatever. I keep wondering how long he’ll stay so un-self conscious!

— added by Mom to JBG on Monday, April 6, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Not too old for a baby? Oh honey I hope you are joking. Aren’t you in your mid to late 40’s? Do you know the odds of having a child with disabilities at this age? You seem to have a lot on your plate with three kids, one of whom has severe autism. Who in the world would be focusing on more kids? Sorry, just don’t understand this.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:08 am

Love that dance in a circle story. How sweet!

I cherish holding my babies and am incessantly greedy with sniffing their heads and kissing their little feet. If I ever get the pleasure of meeting you in person, you can hold my babies. They are 15 mos. and 5, and are total lap boys.

Incidentally, I am a L&D; RN, and have had many patients in their mid to upper 40's having children (on purpose!). So no, it's not too late for you if Ned should change his mind. 😉

— added by ASDmomNC on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I think you’d be a fabulous mother of 4. How do you think Ben would change? I wonder. I keep saying I’d have a fourth if I could be sure it was another girl. Since I last posted..Vinze has been diagnosed with ASD..had my first performance last night!..Superstars was awesome..and there is never enough time to make cossies..I miss you(somehow) and think of you as often as I think of dance. I’m glad teaching is still inspiring and encouraging for you. So, where are you when my arms hurt from holding Dollya? Hugs- Tina G.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Too brutal? Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Yes. But now that I know it was you, Lisa, I published it! 🙂

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I know just what you mean. Sometimes I wish for just one more baby especially now that the “baby” just turned 4 and goes to pre-k next year! But some things just can’t be, so I will just be content with spoiling my brother’s baby, which is due in October. Mike is also a member of the we have enough to deal with club, so the 2 we have are all we are going to have.

— added by cameramom on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

No, that wasn’t me – my brutality was mentioning that if you had a child today, you’d be 63 when your child graduates from high school. I know, ouch, right?

My post must have gotten lost, but I also mentioned that I’d worry about how a new baby would affect Nat, especially with him only being home on weekends.

The crux of my comment was that you have parlayed your love of dance to a situation where you are surrounded by sweet little girl cherubs, which is intoxicating for us mothers of boys. Trust me, I get it.

As your friend, I don’t want you to take that risk. It could be too costly for you and your cadre of beautiful boys. Lisa

Ps. Despite my well documented lack of rhythm, I would gladly join hands and dance in a circle with you.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

Hi Lisa,
Actually I did feel surprised thinking that the other anonymous might be you, it lacked your usual warmth and friendship! Thanks for pointing this out, I will track down your real comment. They don’t all get through my email inbox! And thank you for what you’ve said here. Cherubs! Indeed they are!

— added by Susan Senator on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I can’t really speak for those I don’t know but a lot of families today are made of a Mom and Dad, and maybe a son and his daughter. What is the difference if you are 63 and have a granddaughter of 11 living with you instead of your own young child? They are yours either way. I dunno, 63 isn’t that old, especially if you belly dance. 😛 -Tina G.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, April 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm