Extracurriculars

Minnie has been in dance classes for 3.5 years.  She has done ballet, tap, an acro jazz class and this year is doing ballet, hip hop and contemporary.  She plays soccer in the spring too. Extracurricular activities for Mickey have been tougher. Early on we tried karate and he wasn’t able to participate – either mentally or physically.  Along with the behavior challenges, Mickey has some fine and gross motor skill delays.  They have improved, but he didn’t want to go back to karate.  He played one season of soccer and he enjoyed it, but he knew he wasn’t good.  He did participate and learn some important lessons on teamwork, so the season was successful as far as I was concerned, but he knew that he didn’t have the same skill set as his peers and we both knew that at his age the competitive level would increase.  He didn’t ask to play again. So, we continued the search for activities that he was interested in.

Music is Mickey’s passion. Listening, playing, singing, dancing.  All music.  Mickey has yet to find a genre he doesn’t like, but he leans toward 60’s rock and roll – Elvis, Buddy Holly, Beatles, etc.  He also adores Johnny Cash and dolly Parton.  Their songs speak to him, their voices, the beats, all of it.  His uncle is teaching him guitar and I am teaching him clarinet and piano. Mickey asked to take a dance class last year.  We let him join Minnie’s acro jazz class and he did well. But, acro wasn’t really his forte. So, this year he chose ballet and hip hop.  So, this weekend he had his first ballet class.  He wants to dance Nutcracker this year, so ballet was necessary.  I didn’t expect him to, but he loved his first class. Last week he did his first hip hop class as well, excluding a hip hop summer camp we did this summer. He was invited to move up to hip hop 2 after his first class.  This is mainly because the instructors are different and the Hip Hop 2 teacher is better equipped to handle him, but she also thinks he will be fine from an ability level standpoint.

This was all very exciting for Mickey.  He loves to dance and has been entertaining us for years with his dance moves.  While certainly not the most talented dancer around, he makes up for it with heart. A boy in his school last week made fun of him when Mickey shared how excited he was about his dance classes.  The boy laughed at him. Mickey stood up for himself and kept his cool and that is huge for him.  He informed the kid that he loves dance and that dance isn’t just for girls. I don’t necessarily think Mickey will stick with dance, I think he is leaning heavier to band and chorus, but those don’t start here until 5th grade, so for now we dance…though Mickey has observed the one other boy who is about 15 that is taking ballet at the dance school and he has commented about how nice it must be to be surrounded by all those pretty girls in class, so I could be wrong.  My son is no fool 🙂

We also took two other big steps this week – both kids joined scouts.  Mickey has been asking to for some time, but scouting will require some independence that we didn’t think he was ready for.  But, I think he is now.  So, we got boy scout uniforms and he has read his entire book from cover to cover and picked all the badges he wants to work on. He couldn’t be more excited.  Minnie joined girl scouts too, but we haven’t really started yet, so her excitement is somewhat tempered, though she has already called her uncle and grandpa to prep them for cookie sales.

So, between five dances classes, Nutcracker rehearsals, boy scouts and girl scouts, this momma will be busy this year.  I want my children to explore their interests and find their passions.  I think it may be most important for Mickey, because other areas are so tough for him – he needs to have something he loves that isn’t a terrible struggle. Fingers crossed for both of them that they enjoy their chosen activities for this year.

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