Monday, September 23, 2013

The Tale of Spencer's Extra Curricular Dilemma

When Henry started first grade last year, we decided after we moved and got settled that he could start some sort of extra-curricular activity. We settled on karate, and he's LOVED it. It's been good for him. He's an orange belt, and really does enjoy  the two nights a week he gets to "hiyah".

This year, before the official school year started, we knew that Spencer was ansty to start karate as well. Watching Henry many times over the last school year got him all excited. 

But, my mom-heart knew, that while Spencer might LIKE karate, he would LOVE a dance class. 

So, I started the great Google search in hopes of finding something that would be a good fit for him. 

Then... there is was! Perfection. A hip hop/tap class for BOYS only, ages 5-7. YES!

I gently brought up the idea of trying a dance class, which Spencer immediately dismissed. 

"No, I don't wanna do that!" 

So, a few days later, I asked him if he would try it, please. 

He finally relented. 

Derek and I were both torn. We didn't want to force him to do something he didn't want to do, but at the same time, we BOTH knew our guy love it once he gave it a chance. 

The same week he was to take his trial hip hop class, the karate studio was offering "Buddy week" which meant Henry could bring a friend to try a free class. Spencer was BEYOND excited, and I was worried our ship was sunk.  

I was resolute though: I was going to let him him choose. 

"I will let him choose," I repeated to myself, over and over. 

Whenever Spencer would declare (before attending either class) that he was pretty sure he was going to pick karate, I'd grit my teeth and try to stay silent. Sometimes I couldn't help myself, "Let's not decide anything until you've tried both," I'd beg. 

The night of the great karate class came. The next day would be hip hop.  So much excitement!!

Derek did the karate class run, and declared that Spencer definitely seemed to enjoy himself, and that every time he did a move correctly, he'd do a LITTLE DANCE. 

"I think I'm going to pick karate, Mom," he said enthusiastically. 

"Oh, okay, I'm glad you liked it," I choked. 

Finally, MY long awaited day arrived. He and I struck out to the dance studio. In borrowed shoes, he wiggled and tapped and did head stands, and all sorts of stuff I thought looked super cool. 

But, he was so stoic, throughout the entirety of the class, I couldn't tell if he was enjoying himself or not. It LOOKED like fun, but what did I know? 

Finally, he was finished and came dancing out to me. 

"Mom, if I choose dance, will you buy me my own dance shoes?" he asked. 

"I will." I promised. 

"Then, I want to do hip hop. It's so cool!" 

My heart sang. 

And he got himself dance shoes, and now, on Mondays, Henry declares, "I have karate tonight!" which then leads to Spencer declaring, "THAT MEANS I HAVE HIP HOP TOMORROW! YES!" 

Ha! Vindication. 

But I mean, come on, any class that has the kids doing (teacher-assisted) BACK FLIPS on the second day is guaranteed to please, right?

AND poor Henry said in response to watching one of Spencer's classes, "No one asked ME if I wanted to do dance." Poor kid. When I told him that he could choose dance or karate too, he replied, "Okay, when I'm a black belt, then I'll switch to dance." So... in about seven years? Great. Perfect. 

I'm relieved, not because he chose what I wanted, but because he went with what HE wanted. It would have been easy to go to karate because Henry already did. I wanted HIM to choose. The fact that he chose what I thought he would was just icing on the cake. He loves it. I'm happy he's happy. 


Erin said...

Yay for Spencer! I'm so glad he found a good fit. :-)

david hagey said...

Well played Morgan. Great kids.

Master P said...

Fabulous mommying there!!


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