Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday's things...on Friday

Wednesday I experienced something that I have never experienced before. I know I have a lifetime of this type thing ahead of me but I guess what caught me by surprise was my emotional response. For weeks, well...about a month now, we have been grooming the toddler for "Princess Camp". No, I'm not a "Toddlers and Tiaras" all, and never will be, but our local dance studio gave us a flyer one day on an afternoon ice cream walk about a month ago advertising their princess camp. While summer camps are completely new to me from the parent perspective, I know these are big deals for kids summering at home. Parents scurry to sign their child up for every camp under the sun that they can jam into the school hiatus...keeping them busy and engaged is, well...the name of the game and, pretty expensive, no less. So, after perplexing over the price tag for the three day camp, I bit the bullet and signed her up, paid our tuition, and proceeded to pump the toddler up about it for weeks now. "Listen to your teacher..."Do what she says". "If you are a listening you have to be quiet". "Make new friends"...etc. We talked about it on a daily basis. And Wednesday...was the day. We got up early, she ate her oatmeal, got her leotard on, slipped into her ballet slippers and tutu and we headed toward the village. As we approached, a sinking feeling starting to slink in as I realized that there were no cars parked out front. For an idea...the "village" is a quaint, pre-war area of brick and slate stores...all connected...a, er, pre-war strip mall if you will. So, there was still a glimmer of hope that possibly everyone was dropped off and the few cars that were on the street might be instructors who didn't want to take up space directly out in front of the studio. We parked. At this point the morning sun was shining directly on the the plate glass walls that line the studio frame therefore making it nearly impossible to see beyond the canvas awnings. I slowly emerged from the car...waiting only to watch a woman parked in a late model Ford get her daughter out of the back...hoping she was headed into the studio as well...but alas, they disappeared in the opposite direction. I rounded our car and slowly broke the news to the toddler that "we might not be having princess camp today". Confusion set in...on both our parts. We approached the door. Locked. We held fast to the plan, after all, it was still ten minutes before class was to begin. I made her pose for a few quick photos. But all she could do was press her face to the sheet of glass. "No one is here, Mama". We waited. In my heart, I knew no one was coming and I would soon be faced with tearing down all the excitement I worked so hard to build. I knew there would be tears. I just didn't know they would be mine. I called the number on the glass...and with assistance from the husband, secured another number from the website to call as well. The June session of Princess Camp had been cancelled. The apologies were many and the promise of a refund was forthright but none of that meant anything to the toddler. I knelt down by the toddler, putting my arm around her tutu-ed waist and slowly broke the news. Her tears were immediate as she recounted..."but, I promised to mind and listen to the teacher"...and then my tears were immediate. I was able to brush them away so as to not further upset her but she was devastated. I know that this was nothing really, just a three day dance camp. I know that there will be many other moments just like this, but I didn't realize it would be so hard. It's hard to explain things to a 3 year old, especially when you're having to make excuses for something that there really is no excuse for. Maybe these little reconciliations prepare us as parents for the bigger letdowns in life. Who knows, all I know is that the husband and I were so hurt for her. The silver lining to this...a chocolate milk from Starbucks, a sugar cookie from Mrs. Fields, lunch at her favorite Mexican joint, and going to the pool later that afternoon made everything better. And, somehow I was able to turn the whole fiasco into a life lesson..."this is why we have to do what we are supposed to do because when we don't, people get hurt and feelings get hurt"...the toddler agreed. Somewhere amongst all the confusion and tears, a nice lady jogging by the studio saw the toddler crying (thankfully not me!) and stopped. She recommended another dance studio in town who ironically is doing a Princess Camp next week. I drove right over and signed the toddler up...I've already received confirmation, and I'm happy that the toddler will eventually get her, er, isn't always a fairytale...that's for sure!

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