In the past two weeks, our kids have begun their very first extracurricular activities: dancing and soccer.
(Well . . . extracurricular besides piano, which doesn’t seem to be as much an activity as a prolonged “someday this pain will be good for you.” No, really — piano’s going great, except for when it’s mindbogglingly awful. But I digress.)
Eleanor, who has been twirling and skipping around the house since she could walk, has begun creative dance lessons. My mother in law has been generous enough to sponsor her at an excellent nearby school, and she has been in heaven ever since. I was able to go with her to her first lesson, and the adorableness factor was sky high. There are six girls in the class, inlcuding Ella, and they spent time having an “underwater adventure,” including eating imaginary “seaweed sandwiches” (a creative way of making the stretching exercises more fun) and pretending to be hermit crabs with different kinds of shells (a way of learning to vary dancing to match emotion).
Eleanor was a veritable pixie in her little pink leotard and footless tights. At the end of each exercise, the kids were encouraged to make a “beautiful shape” with their bodies. Eleanor stretched high and low, skipping about merrily with joy through the whole class.
Each morning she asks if it is the day of her dance class again. She’s so excited.
In the meanwhile, Jeffrey joined his very first soccer team this week. His team, which has recently been dubbed the “Red Dragons” by the players, is mostly comprised of other boys from the neighborhood, most of whom Jeff already knows. They only have the vaguest idea of how the game is supposed to be played, and so they don’t even bother using goalies in competition. This morning they had their first game, and the kids spent time alternately running in packs back and forth across the field and wistfully staring at the nearby forest of climbing trees. Jeffrey had to be coaxed out of the forest and back to the sidelines whenever he was taking a break.
Once, after scoring, two of the Dragons gave each other a “chest bump,” which all the other kids thought was really cool. So then, instead of wandering into the forest during breaks, the boys spent time chest-bumping each other into oblivion. Jeffrey’s chosen method was to hop up and down with his eyes closed until his friend rammed him backwards.
The game was great. Jeff ran and ran until his cheeks turned an adorable shade of pink, which is what I love the best. Yesterday we took him to the sporting goods store and bought him a pair of cleats and shin guards, which thrilled him to no end. It was all I could do to coax them off of his feet at bedtime!