You know, you get pretty tired of feeling like an outsider in a world that you have every right to feel comfortable and accepted in. Just when you feel like you belong, like you fit, you are brought into social situations that tell you otherwise. My youngest daughter loves to dance, ballet is a passion. Early on, it was obvious that her hue was not abundant in this world of dance and you just accept it and move on. So for the first 4 years we had great experiences and not so great ones. I remember when we moved to New England and me openly voicing my opinion that the students and parents seemed “cold” and that I could put her elsewhere. We stayed though and built some awesome friendships and probably changed some perceptions and fears in the process. Recently, my daughter was accepted into a more vigorous ballet program. I was so excited for her. Although she had to leave many of those she had danced with for a while, it was worth it and came with the territory we supposed. Initially, I received constant compliments from other parents about her great poise and skill. Well as she has moved up, things have changed. No one speaks. I have to initiate any greeting or exchange for the most part. As a grown woman, it is embarrassing to secretly dread the cold weather because you know you can’t just stay in the car for 2 ½ hours while your child is in practice. You will have to go in and feel like the odd one out. You know it is because of the simple fact that your child is good and the jealousy among women who would want their child to be the best has created this mean environment of exclusion.
So it is not just your color. It can be the gift in your kids, the car you drive, the bag you carry. You know, last week I said enough is enough. I walked in the door of that dance school with my very cute BCBG wedged boots and with a bold “hello” shattered the glass. I looked at each parent in the face letting them know I saw them individually, one by one, isolating from their comfortable group think of isolating the one that is different and that one was me…yep, the one with the kid that really does apply herself. Never let some lame parent or any person for that matter keep you from enjoying your child’s endeavors. We are here to stay and we are going to make it our party too. Come if you want, but bring your own cake, because you may not like my all natural gluten- free one.