Sunday, May 04, 2008

Weekend Update & So You Think You Can Hip Hop, Part 1

Weekend Update #1: There is still time to vote for my not-so-cute picture of my mother and her sisters and family in the photo essay contest at 5 Minutes for Mom. Apparently, some of you are having difficulty finding the right spot to vote, so I'm re-posting this link, but if you don't see it when you get to the home page of the site, just scroll down, down, down, past more recent posts, past 15 big pictures, to a list of blog names below the pictures, where you may click next to the name of the blog you would like to vote for, namely, 2ND CUP OF COFFEE, a blog which admittedly does not have the cutest picture entered, but it does have a heart-warming story behind it.

Therefore, please go here and vote today! As of right now, I don't stand much of a chance, but I have THE AUDACITY OF HOPE to carry me through this voting process. (Whew. This campaign is TOUGH! Glad I got all of my yard signs out into the neighborhood tonight!)

Weekend Update #2: Jordan brought his friends home for din-din, and I did not poison them. Yay! They were very nice young men, and we got to meet his roommate for next year. Here is what I ended up serving, the main course suggested by Sara of Make Music from Your Heart to the Lord: A roast beef sandwich with provolone cheese dipped au jus (crock pot roast cooked in French onion soup, beef broth, beef consomme, which I don't even know what consomme is), old fashioned macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cole slaw, Sister Schubert rolls (thanks, Melanie) and TWO desserts: the Ken Lee Cake of all Cakes and Mrs. Smith's Apple Crumb Pie a la mode, which I intend to post about soon. I said, "Guys, I've been blogging about you, and I must take a picture so that all my bloggy friends can you see you eating and surviving this meal." They readily agreed, and then I forgot to take the picture! Ugh! I think I was intoxicated on Ken Lee cake. I know I said it before, but thanks for all of your wonderful ideas! You are good friends. I huggeth you, sisters.

And now, on to the "au currant" which is not the same as "au jus."

Saturday: Guess what I’ve been doing this morning? It’s a tiny little thing but something I never thought I’d do: paint my daughter’s toenails black. Yes, the little pink toes that I kissed and piggied and fitted in just the right shoes, I have been painting Goth black.


Let me back up and tell my back story before I get back to the future, back where we belong. Back.

When I was a little girl, before I knew there was such a thing as the life-changing international fame and glamour of cheerleading, where one can truly be a big fish in a small pond, I wanted to be a ballerina.

How I even knew such a person/profession existed, I have no idea because I grew up in the most blue-collar of backgrounds and was not allowed to go to movies nor was I allowed to dance, so where this wild idea came from, who knows. Some older members in the church would have probably said, “Satan.”

Anyway, the biggest cultural exposure I had was 1) “Special” gospel singers coming to our church (sort of like Don and Seymour, here) which I’m pretty sure would now qualify as the post-modern Catholic interpretation of purgatory 2) The Fort Wayne Zoo. Not even the Indianapolis Zoo. Just the Fort Wayne Zoo, which featured lots of raccoons. Because Indiana doesn’t have many live raccoons, just dead ones on the roads every 30 feet or so. So they took us to see live ones.

Anyway part 2, my mother bought me a chenille breadspread that had a life-sized chenille ballerina on it as its only design. In other words, her figure was sort of raised on a white background. The ballerina was blonde. Therefore, the ballerina was I, and I was she. We melded, kindred souls, one of blood and water, one of … fuzz.

I've always wondered why my mother bought that bedspread. Maybe she felt it made up for the disappointment of not being allowed gymnastics or ballet, a concession or apology. What it did was make me envy the life of a 2-D bedspread character. Pathetically funny.

Like Elijah and the dead boy, I would stretch myself out atop of that ballerina, arm for extended arm, knee for bent knee, head cast upward in an ethereal glance.

I’m sure I looked just like a real-live ballerina ... or maybe a dead one, just lying there, like a Hoosier raccoon separated from his eternal spirit.

I read ballerina books, I drew pictures of tu-tus, I danced around my churchyard after services when all the half-dead people would stand around talking. I flitted in between little caucuses of them, distracting them, catching chagrined glances, but I didn’t care. And I don’t know where my parents were, so I guess they didn’t care. Maybe they were trying to pretend the wayward dancing child was not theirs.

Now let’s go forward in time to about 1990. I have a four year-old little girl. Our church is offering ballet classes taught by one of our pastor’s wives, of all things. Katie wants to dance. I want her to dance. We are happy.

Oh, ballet pink ~ is there anything sweeter? Not hot pink, not baby pink, but a muted, dusty pink. And tu-tus! Oh, tu-tus, I still love you. I’m dancing on the inside right now. My little brunette girl was a-dor-a-able in ballet pink. And people, she excelled at ballet. [I knew it was in my blood! I knew it!] The first time we bought her toe shoes, I she was in heaven.

I wouldn't say she was living my dream, but ... you could say it and be totally right.

The years passed, and Katie kept dancing. I had a couple more kids, including another little brunette thing, Kristin, whom the dance teacher wanted in her class, and asked about enrolling her often.

“No,” I would respond, smiling and shaking my head, “She’s not ready. She’s not like Katie. She’s rowdier. She’s spunkier. She’s not ready.”

The teacher said over and again, “Yes she is! Oh please sign her up. She’s so cute.”

So I did, and while others twirled and pirouetted in class, Kristin twirled the pony tail of the girl in front of her. And even though you can't tell it in this pic, she does indeed have a neck.

Double fast forward: When the younger hit 5th grade, she discovered Christian hip-hop. She bloomed as if she had discovered a hip-hop dancer breadspread.

And people, she excelled at hip hop.

Hip hop dancers do not wear tu-tus or ballet pink. They do big production numbers where they pull giant sweatshirts over their heads and throw punches and kicks in the air and snarl and roll around on the ground.

One year, they did a Heaven/Hell evangelistic thing. And lo and behold, just what every mom wants to hear, one day Kristin, my baby, came out of class and exclaimed, “Mom, I’m gonna be a HELL dancer!!!”

Kristin is now 15 and still hip-hopping. And that's what we're doing today, going to a dance competition in Indianapolis, where she will jump around with black toenails.

I'm going to end Part 1 here, but there's so much more to say about the world of dance competitions. Moms of young ones--beware the snare of ballet pink. Sometimes it fades to black!

1997 vs. 2004 ... wait til you see 2008!


sara said...

Linda, I am so glad you tried my recipe and it worked! I have to tell you that I am bowing down to the Ken Leeness of your cake!! That is the best and easiest cake I have ever made and has now moved up to the new Bowyer favorite!!! (not an easy spot to fill!) I also made it for our small group...they all loved it and asked "what do you call this cake?" Of course, I said....Ken Lee!....they didn't get it! They obviously had not visited either of our blogs! ha! Thanks for the recipe and the link!

sara said...

just read your post on my blog. I would love to hear your advice on this. If it would be easier, my email is: Thanks so much!

The Preacher's Wife said...

hey girl!

voted for your picture - love it!


Susanne said...

I have one of the hip hop girls, too! Never could get her into the tutus.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

You are such a nut. I love the image of you lying on your bed on the ballerina!

I had a bedspread with little girls on swings, with the "Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I" poem on it. I wanted to be with those girls. What is it with little girls and their bedspreads??

Ok, I am going to get my girls bedspreads with pictures of vestal virgins and nuns on them.

You think maybe Pottery Barn?

Kimberly said...

This post cracked me up! I can just see you spread out on your bed, matching the fuzzy ballerina. What a hoot!
I know nothing of dance, being an incredible klutz who considers it an achievement to walk into a room without a) running into the wall, 2) tripping over furniture or 3) falling over my own feet. My daughter begged and begged to take ballet from the time she was four but friends suggested waiting until she was a little older. Finally let her at age 7 or so and she HATED IT. Go figure. I made her stick out the year but we did NOT participate in the annual end-of-year recital. So no cute pictures in pink tu-tus. Instead, the next year she tried out for community theatre, loved it and still does it whenever she can (which isn't often now that she's in college and working).
Isn't it great that our daughters have these wonderful opportunities?!
Can't wait for the 2008 picture!!!

Kimberly said...

P.S. Voted for you!!!

Melanie said...

Awesome piece with Linda wit and wisdom and heart.

"fades to black"

Best line!

Jen said...

I actually have a Goth teenager. Or rather, an "I Like Goth" teenager. I gave her the black nail polish because I tried it on my toes this weekend and she said it "just wasn't me."

Dancing in Ft. Wayne -- you did know that the reason you can't have premarital sex is because it leads to dancing, didn't you?

I was married in Ft. Wayne. Hated the place but love several people who come from there! Hoosiers United!

SJ said...

Loved the story of you and the bedspread. My oldest did the ballet thing, but they didnt wear tutus...I was so disappointed, but I didnt let her know that.

Hip hop? I'm scared. Very scared.

Mocha with Linda said...

Laughing out loud. Only you can start a post with a Ken Lee cake and end with black toenails and it all make sense! Looking forward to Part 2!

Debbie said...

Glad dinner went well. I can just see you laying on your bed mimicing the ballerina's pose :)
Kristen just keeps getting prettier! Hope the contest went well.

sarah said...

You all are so much fun. I totally love your header with the running coffee pot by the way. Come check out the new header Jo-Lynne at DCR Designs made for me and let me know what you think.

You got my mother's day vote. Good campaigning!

Michelle said...

How Awesome Linda.

Me, the "geek", I never had an artistic bone in my body, but I do love to watch my talented children.

You are a great mom.

MoodyBlue said...

I loved her toenails! I paint mine "Wicked" which is a brownish black - so Goth..hehehe. Not that I am Goth, I just love the color so much!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Woo boy, can I relate! Dancing was verboten in our house growing up, too. So the line about the older people attributing your ballerina lust to Satan made me guffaw out loud.