Tuesday, April 29, 2008


In honor of her 100th post JJ Debendictis is hosting a writing contest. Check it out. You'll find my 100 word flash fiction entry in the comments.

I am not participating in Two Line Tuesday this week because I managed very little writing this past week and even less reading but be sure and check out Women of Mystery's blog for others who are.

There are some who say water is the most powerful force in nature. It has carved canyons in the earth. Bulldozed valleys in its glacial form. Overpowered seaside towns. And of course all living things need H2O to live. Sure water floods and wreaks havoc from time to time, but man has still been pretty successful at damming its flow and holding it back in many cases.

But there is one powerful force that no amount of concrete and brick, or earthen dam can contain ... PARENTAL PRIDE. Yeah I know it's not always pretty. I've had to sit in the break room and endure a wallet-full of pictures that only a proud papa or momma could appreciate. I've heard the boring tales of little Timmy scoring a hundred on his spelling test, or of the home run little Suzy smacked in her last softball game. Being the friendly sort I tend to smile, and nod, and actually pretend to care to these tales of my coworkers offspring.

I don't ridicule the proud parents. Why? Because there are times when I am that beaming father.

Today is one of those times.

As I mentioned last week my seven year old son's dance recital was this past weekend. And once again he has amazed and delighted me with his very unique personality and outlook on life. He is so different than I was as a child that I'm constantly surprised by the thing she does and says. (Too be honest not all of those surprises are joys, but I wouldn't change him even if I could)

Watching stage rehearsal last week I studied my son and came to the conclusion he was getting tired of dancing. He seemed to merely be going through the motions, but when I asked him if it ws fun he still said yes. though he did say next year he wanted to take Tap and Jazz instead of Tap and ballet. I think the ballet is a bit to slow-paced for a kid with his energy level.

Despite his assurances, I remained skeptical that he was actually having fun.

Then Friday night rolls around. Dress rehearsal. With a full audience and the stage lights. Is my son nervous? Nope. Just before I turn him over to his teacher he looks at me with his blue eyes and lop-sided grin and boldly states, "Dad, I'm ready to dance in the spotlight."

And he was. He smiled the entire time and gave twice the performance I had seen in any one of the stage rehearsals. His teacher even commented to me and my wife, "If that boy gets any more personality I don't know what I'll do with him."

This year, he and a little girl moved out to center stage and did a little turn and bow in the middle of the ballet number, and as he curtsied I marveled to myself at his ability and courage. I know a few of his friends at school have teased him about dancing and again this year he was the only male dancer out of seventy-five or so in the recital but boy loves all things music and he has great natural rhythm so dancing is right up his alley and it makes me proud that he has the courage to go against the grain and do something he loves despite what anyone else thinks or says.

I would never have had the intestinal fortitude to do that at his age, especially under the bright lights and in a auditorium full of people. Yes, he did just as well in Sunday's recital as he did at dress rehearsal. Practice is one thing, but give that boy an audience and he shines!


Mom In Scrubs said...

Travis, you are the COOLEST dad! Your son knows that too, and it helps give him the strength to go out and do what he loves.

My husband would be sitting in the audience with his hat pulled down low, fidgeting and absently scratching himself.

You Rock. Give yourself a pat on the back for letting your son be who he wants to be. No greater gift, my friend.

Unknown said...

And just where are the pictures?? I want to see pictures! My 5 year old has her very first recital next month, and I just can't wait! She is such a ham and loves music and dance as well. Maybe one day they two of them can dance on broadway together, (or wherever dancers dance!)

Jennifer Archer said...

Bravo to your son! And to you. As a mom who has raised two sons I can tell you that you will never regret letting your son be himself and do what he loves, even if it's not the "norm." I have watched kids grow up pressured by their parents to do what the others boys and girls are doing, rather than what the kid loves to do. Now that they're grown, those are some pretty messed up, unhappy young adults for the most part--except for the ones who had the courage to stand up to their parents at some point in their childhood. In our house, we've always celebrated differences, and you obviously do, as well! Life is never boring in my family because of that.

Melissa Amateis said...

Awesome post, Travis. You should save it for your son to read someday. He will love it!

Michele said...

Awesome. I love this post!

Clare2e said...

I loved ballet as a kid, but now, oh how I wish I remembered more of tap from my teacher Miss Girlie (no kidding) than just shuffle-ball-change. Your son sounds like fun. I bet family wedding receptions are a blast!

Josephine Damian said...

But does the boy eat his lettuce? That's what I'm wondering. lol

"Dad, I'm ready to dance in the spotlight."

If - when - I ever get a book published, I'm going to have shirts made up that say this... or maybe even get a tattoo that says this.... I remember you said you were getting a tatt for your first release.

The Anti-Wife said...

Proud Papa! What a wonderful post.

Janna Leadbetter said...

"But there is one powerful force that no amount of concrete and brick, or earthen dam can contain ... PARENTAL PRIDE."

How right you are. Thanks for the great words, and I commend you for filling your son's life with such love and support. Kudos!

WordVixen said...

"If that boy gets any more personality I don't know what I'll do with him."

Bwahahaha. I would expect nothing less from one of your offspring.

jjdebenedictis said...

This is a great post; you made me grin. See? :-D

And thanks for the linky-love also, as well as posting your hot-100 story.

Double grins for you, sir! :-D :-D

Clair D. said...

Great post! And clearly some great parenting that your son does what makes him happy.


Chris Eldin said...

Travis, you are giving your son a beautiful gift--the freedom to be himself. Do you have any idea what this is going to do for his confidence and happiness?
Good on you, really.

And that boy sounds adorable, just from the way you describe him!!

Bernita said...

NEVER apologize for beaming about your kids.
They deserve your pride.

Charles Gramlich said...

I was amazed when my son often choice to be in the spotlight or be put on the spot. I tended to avoid such things at all cost when I was little. Sounds like your kid has a lot of gumption.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

You are such an awesome dad to support your son's dancing! You know that right?

Bubblewench said...

That is totally awesome... that kid is going to be a STAR! Rockin!

Anonymous said...

"I'm ready to dance in the spotlight"
Isn't that just the greatest thing to know in life and he's already got it figured out. Wow! I am impressed with that kid. Great parents and brother, too! Thanks for sharing.

Clair D. said...

Hey Travis-- don't know if you (and the other MTM writers) saw, but now blogger lets you set WHEN you want a post to publish. So folks can write it on Sunday and have it appear (magically) on Sunday.

Not that posting My Town Monday on Sunday is wrong... just sharing.

Mary Ann said...

I love the description of your son dancing but especially love that you are proud of him in every way. That's the greatest thing ever and he will never ever forget it.