The Unbridled Ambitions of My Renaissance Boy

“I could do that.”

ImageMy son stood and watched his 3-year-old sister embark on her first day of ballet class last fall. He watched through the window for the entire 45 minute class. My daughter, rarely eager to jump into anything with both feet, stood in the back of the class only occasionally uncrossing her arms to join in on the simple stretches and hops that they call “creative dance”.

I thought nothing of the moment when I heard him mutter about how great a dancer he could be, that it all looked “so easy”. I smiled and asked, not thinking he meant anything by it, if he’d like to join and he stared at me like I was insane.

So, when he approached my husband & I in the spring and asked if he could please take ballet classes we were only kind of surprised.

My son has been on this earth for six and half short years, and he’s loved music no doubt from the very beginning. 

I could tell you about the toy we got that attached to his carseat when he was only a few weeks old that played the most gentle tone and would take him from wailing to silence in an instant, or the fact that I’ve been singing to him the same song every night since before he was born and without fail it soothes him, or I could tell you about all of the cute stories of his love and excitement over any musical toy since before he could talk, or how he’d sit at a piano for an entire hour playing gently “the classics”, OR! I could show you all of the adorable videos on my phone where I’d catch him dancing in the middle of a department store to the (usually awful) background tunes. You know, I could share all of those stories with you, but why? Why do I feel compelled to gush about how much my son loves music?

Last fall he began violin lessons, I didn’t feel compelled to gush to anybody about his love for music. Not to his teacher, not to the other parents, not to my friends. Obviously, either he’s taking lessons because he likes music or I guess there is the chance that maybe I’m a Tiger Mom, but, no guys, he likes music, A LOT. So why did (more accurately, still do) I feel compelled to spew out his history of musical inclinations like it was some fantastical love story that ended with him being the most majestic beast of a dancer hurling ballerinas across a stage? Cause I’m insane.

Or am I?

It’s hard to tell. What I do know is that it’s important to keep my cool. He wants to dance. Great. Let him dance. He wants to play the violin, learn piano, strengthen his soccer skills, master karate, join a swim team, attend art classes, and build robots (BIG ONES). The kid is ambitious. He thinks we hold him back, I have to remind him on a weekly basis that he’s too little to accomplish all the things he wants to accomplish, he still needs time to play. Then he realizes it’s been a week since he touched his Nintendo DS…

Today he had his first ballet class. He loved every second of it, just as we all hoped he would. In the few moments after school, while his little brother and sister napped upstairs, we talked about the day he’d had.
“Lots of kids were teasing me today. About ballet.”

“Yeah? How’d that make you feel?”

“It didn’t make me feel anything. I’m not worried about what they don’t understand.”


“One kid said ballet is for girls. I told him that’s not true and asked him if he’s every watched ballet, cause they NEED boys. He said boys are suppose to do sports. I told him ballet is a sport. He said no, sports are things that make you strong. I said ballet makes you strong, and I asked him he’s ever seen a dancer. THEY PICK PEOPLE UP IN THE AIR. He didn’t really have anything else to say.”

“It sounds like you’ve got it all figured out!”

“I do. One girl says, ‘Well, you take ballet!’ all the time, as if it’s suppose to make me feel bad. She makes no sense. I think they’re all just confused. I’m not worried about it.”

He’s not worried about it. So, you know, I’m not worried about it.

Sometimes you teach kids and sometimes kids teach you.




  1. Alyssa

    What a wonderful post! Truer words are rarely spoken, “I think they’re all just confused. I’m not worried about it.” So in the words of Billy Elliot the musical, “All you have to do is Shine!”

  2. Samantha smith

    So great to see supportive parents.
    My 5 year old son has been doing ballet since he was 3. He never seems to stop dancing around the house and loves wearing his leotard and little navy lycra shorts and looks just too cute 🙂

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