My mother use to tell me that she enjoyed having time to herself. “Me Time,” she would call it. When I was younger, I never understood why she would desire alone time. Who wants to be alone?! It’s more fun to be with your friends, laughing and chatting about everything under the sun. Now, that I’m a little bit older I understand and thoroughly appreciate “me time.” Silence can sometimes be a blessing. To be able to hear your own thoughts or to be able to read a page from a book only once can feel like a gift granted from above. If you don’t understand the value of “Me Time,” all you have to do is babysit a child under the age of seven and all will be explained.
I babysit a precocious five year old named Audrey Jane. She has the energy of ten children on a sugar high. She talks at 100 words per minute while wandering to the next shiny thing she sees. I’m only twenty one years old, so you think I would be able to keep up with her liveliness, but she wears me out. She asks endless amounts of questions, that sometimes I really have no clue how to answer. She is as quick as a cheetah, running from one spot to the next. My reflexes are tested and I’m trying to grab her before she runs again. I watch mothers with four or five children and I just wonder, “How in this world do you do it?,” then my thought is interrupted with another question from Audrey Jane.
Audrey Jane is an active five year old. She started gymnastics when she was only two years old. Gymnastics was not really Audrey Jane’s forte, and for that I’m glad. That may sound a little mean, but let me explain from the babysitter’s perspective. The gym was always packed full of parents and children. There is clear glass separating the waiting area and the gym so the parents can watch while sitting on hard metal bleachers. Needless to say, it’s an hour of discomfort. Also, every child finds it necessary to scream from their lungs with all the air they have, to ask a million questions about nothing, and cry because they can. It was impossible to read, to study, or by any means even think. By the end of class my head is pounding, my back is stiff, and my butt is numb.
Getting back to the glorious need for sounds of silences, my quiet time is during Audrey Jane’s ballet class. Oh, ballet how you make my heart warm with joy. Audrey Jane began ballet at the CSU Dance Conservatory in January of this year. It has been nothing but wonderful. Audrey Jane really enjoys the class and adores her teacher. The class is very structured and calm, which is something Audrey Jane needs for an hour. I’ve peeked in a few times, and the little ballerinas are all paying close attention to their instructor and eagerly waiting to learn more.
Class begins exactly at 4:00pm and ends on time at 5:00pm. While Audrey Jane is learning to become the next big thing, I’m sitting in the waiting area in a cozy, comfy fabric chair. But wait, what is that I hear? Oh, silly me. It’s nothing, literally nothing. I’m on cloud nine for one whole hour. There are two other mothers that stay in the waiting area until class is over, and each of them have their books or to- do lists. The other mothers leave to run errands or enjoy a cup of coffee across the street. It’s a peacefully perfect hour. The CSU Dance Conservatory is at the Rankin Arts Center, which is conveniently located on Broadway at Uptown Columbus. Some days, I’ll walk across the street to Fountain City Coffee and grab a latte and sit outside on a bench and enjoy the scenery. It’s my one hour to relax, unwind, and enjoy being by myself. No one is screaming in my ear, asking me questions, or needs me for anything.
Other than having my hour of alone time, ballet has taught Audrey Jane to be more disciplined and focused. At gymnastics she was as wild as a monkey. Now, Audrey Jane is listening and learning how to participate with a group. The little ballerinas are also learning their numbers in French. After every class, Audrey Jane counts up to the amount that she has learned. She is now up to the number ten or nombres dix! Audrey Jane is learning the basic fundamentals of ballet, but at such a young age, she is learning much more. Ballet is showing Audrey Jane how to be refined and poised which will assist her development into a young lady.
Sometimes it’s hard to notice the blessings given to us, but I am well aware that ballet is a blessing for both Audrey Jane and myself.
If you’re interested in signing your child up for ballet classes and treating yourself to an hour of uninterrupted bliss, click http://ballet.columbusstate.edu/ for more information.
Submitted by Rebecca Holman