Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Story of Contrasts

La Nina and I spent the weekend at a dance convention. That means dancing 16 hours in two days for La Nina and a lot of sitting around and holding shoes for me. This weekend the dancers were sharing the space with another group of kids: the kids competing in the National Chess Finals. And let's just say, dancers and chess players mix like, well, let's just say they don't really mix. Here's why:

Dancers dress in the skimpiest clothes their mothers will allow. Dancers regularly walk around barefoot in a metallic green bikini with spiked hair, full of glitter. Chess players wear solid colored-long sleeve, collared shirts, sensible shoes and thick glasses. While the little boy chess players are rather fascinated by the boisterous dancers, the mothers of chess players are not so impressed and regularly steer their little prodigies as far from the dancers as possible.

Dancers travel in packs of 3-6, if they're over 7 they refuse to be seen much with their mothers and typically can be heard long before they are seen, which is something when you consider on how they're dressed. Chess players travel alone, usually with their mothers and are so quiet that they typically go unnoticed until a dancer leaps or spins into one on the way to the lunch line. Even though the leaping and turning dancer has flattened the poor chess player who was only waiting patiently for his lunch, somehow the dancer is offended and is the only person complaining when in fact the poor, little chess player is the one who was knocked down.

Chess players sit quietly with their mothers during lunch. They put their napkins in their laps, they use silver ware and they never use their chair as a prop to show their friend how to "pliè". The chess players eat about a 1/3 of their lunch and spend the rest of their break resting. Dancers eat like starving wolves. They consume a sandwich, their mother's salad, a cookie, chips and possibly a water or soda in about 5 minutes. Then they jump up and begin spinning, leaping and begging their mothers to go back into the practice room, because they really, really want to work on their turns.

The mothers of chess players look on in horror at the scene being caused by the dancers in the lunch room, because really, it's quite chaotic. Kids are leaping, turning, running in and out in packs and occasionally doing all of the above in perfect unison. The mothers of dancers look longing at the little chess players and wish they could spend some time in a quiet room filled with little boys moving pawns, rooks, queens and kings around a checkered board. Then the mothers of dancers realize the mothers of the chess players look just as tired as they do, and they pick up their lunch dishes and go back to the practice room.


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