Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Looking Back

My parents own a dog.

Her name is Tessa. I was still in high school when they got her. My youngest brother hasn't known a time in his life without her. She smells bad, all the time. She can't control her gaseous emissions. When I first came home from America (after becoming engaged) I was given the task of looking after the house and the dog. It was a lonely period of my life and for a bit of company in the evenings I would let her in the house. I could pick when I would need to leave the room because just before I detected the smell with my nose I would hear a tiny "pffft". That tiny "pffft" was no indication of how lethal that smell was.

But this isn't a post about Tessa's bad smells.

Back in her Hey Day, Tessa liked to stretch the arms from our bodies as we held the leash when we took her for a walk. It was decided she needed dog obedience school. Off she went with the only sucker who seemed to have the time on a Tuesday evening to take her - ME.

The first lesson the owners learned was that if the dog seemed to be lacking, it was the owners fault. Most weeks I left in tears. Tessa refused to do anything that the other dogs were doing. And all because she couldn't stop looking at the other dogs. When we asked to show how our dogs heeled, Tessa would walk beside me, only backwards so she could see what the other dogs were up to. Walking in out of the circle of dogs was pure hell for me.

I think I may have given up after the third or fourth week of wretched humiliation.

I was reminded of this part of my life as I watched LQ dancing this morning. It lightens my soul to see how delighted and animated LQ becomes when she knows she will be dancing. Her excitement overflows throughout the class and she will let out an occasional squeal that sounds insuppressible. She tries so hard to stay in line waiting for her turn, but sometimes it just takes too long. When every other little bottom was swaying from side to side with the music, LQ couldn't help but run all around the large room, squealing as she flapped her arms.

What is most familiar to me each week is when dance teacher "J" is showing the class what to do. She will change what she is doing every so often and each little child tries to follow along. Except LQ whose back is to Teacher J while she looks at each and every child who is behind her.

Waiting in line to drive

1 comment:

DeNae said...

Oh, I remember those days. When she was looking over her shoulder in pure wonder and joy, and not out of self-doubt or fear of rejection. We need to help our kids remember that it's the joy of the dance, and not the conformity of the steps, that gives life color and meaning.

Well written, as usual!