I took one class. I didn't start jumping and flicking my feet around expertly within minutes, so I cried the whole time. Learning was going to be a long process, and not easy.
So I quit. After one class.
In the fifth grade, I was allowed to pick an instrument to learn. We had a beautiful old clarinet, so I chose that. I learned the basics easily enough, and was competent enough to be asked to join the Tri Town Orchestra.
But after learning the basics, things got more complicated. No longer easy. And? I never got to play the melody, and it bugged me. I blew out what seemed like random low tones that to me had nothing to do with the songs I knew so well; "Eye of The Tiger", "Theme from Superman", crap like that.
So I quit. I never played in the Tri Town Orchestra.
I've never tried very hard to do anything.
A couple years ago, I asked Owen if he wanted to try a Karate class. I showed him videos of kids in a class. He couldn't wait to learn some superhero moves.
The first class, he sat on my lap vibrating with anxiety. He was introduced to the class. He taught them some signs. He wouldn't have been the only kid with special needs there. He refused to join them in their punching and kicking exercises. The teacher gave him a Gi to take home and try on.
He ran around the house in his Gi all evening
The next week, he'd promised to get up and join the other kids. He knew if he didn't, he'd have to return the Gi.
He sat on my lap. More vibrating. This time with crying; "I'm scared". At the end of the class, he moped his way to the teacher, head hung in defeat, and returned the Gi.
He quit. And I let him.
Bea asked to take dance class. I brought her to the studio and signed her up. I bought her a pink leotard, tights, skirt, shoes. She twirled and pranced for weeks in anticipation of her first class.
She was so damn cute in that get up I wanted to bite her butt.
The day arrived and all the Mommies shuffled their little jumping balls of pink into the studio. The Mommies sat down as the line of pink stretched the length of the room.
Except for Bea. Who sat on my lap crying. For the entire hour. Ok. Not the whole hour. I gave up after thirty minutes and dragged her out.
She refused to ever go back. And I let her.
Bea's friend Mya signed up for soccer. Bea asked if she could too. So I did. For weeks she's been talking about it.
The first class was this past Saturday. She peppered me all morning;
"Time for soccer yet? Can we go now? Now? NOW!??"
The field was bustling with dozens of kids and parents and coaches. Ten groups of ten. Bea's was the first group we found. Her coach was Perry, an adorkable 22 year old Brit with a goofy smile and Harry Potter's voice.
All the kids took to him instantly. Acting like whatever animal he told them too. Chasing him around. Kicking balls at him.
Except for Bea. Who clung to me crying; "I'm scared."
Yeah. Harry Potter with the turned up nose, freckles, and heavy lisp was truly terrifying.
Hiding behind me, she wouldn't even watch the other kids.
So I dragged her out of there, still crying. And I threw her in the car. And told her I wasn't going to get her a soccer ball of her own.
I made it as far as the entrance to the park, Bea still wailing.
"No. You said you wanted to do it. I paid for you to play. We're going back. You're going to at least try."
And we did. We stood and watched. And she cried.
I joined the kids. Jumped like a kangaroo, walked like a penguin, kicked the ball at Bea.
Perry and I tried all manner of bribery and trickery to no avail.
She stood her ground, feet planted firmly, arms crossed in stubborn defiance;
Which is what she might do next week, and the week after that, and the week after that.
Because I'm not letting her give up without even trying.
*Twitter Pigeon for Annabelle!*