Dancing + Earrings = SSA
So apparently my children are all going to grow up gay. For years I have heard that because my sons dance ballet, they will become gay. Because my boys have earrings, gay. That’s right. Gasp. I have boys who danced ballet and got their ears pierced. It seems that I have spent a whole lot of time on here lately defending myself and my actions – where my parenting, my spending, my priorities, and my life choices have been concerned. It’s kind of annoying. I don’t feel as if I have to defend my actions, my life, my kids, my business. BUT I do want to explain a few of the reasons we have made some of the choices we have.
My oldest could dance before he could walk. He loved music and movement and was active and my parents were alive and I could afford to be the kind of mother who indulged all of her kid’s talents. He started dance lessons when he was two. He was good. Really good. Hartford Ballet at age 7. Which was the same year he got an earring.
Maybe it was because a lot of the boys at the Ballet School had one, maybe it was because I was a twenty-five-year-old mother who gave myself three of my own ear holes in high school. At the time, it was the in-thing and I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Nor did I see anything wrong with putting my son in tights and letting him move to Tchaikovsky. Ballet is a beautiful thing. If you’ve ever experienced Swan Lake or Coppelia, you will know what I am talking about. Baryshnikov isn’t gay. Godunov was. The checker at Target isn’t, the clerk at Walmart is. Was it because he wore a blue shirt?
Four of my seven boys have earrings. On the left side. The two older ones have two on the left. They did it on their own. Everyone who reads my blog frequently knows my views on excessive piercings, body-covering tattoos, messy and immodest dress, and the like. I like to drink wine, or have a martini when I go out with my girlfriends. I don’t get drunk, nor do I drink to excess. My point being, my boys who have a pierced ear, dress impeccably and act respectfully.
Ten of the children were involved in Ballet for years, until we couldn’t afford it, which was shortly after “he” left. They miss it. The Nutcracker was an amazing experience they looked forward to every year. The costumes and the staging were superior – that’s my son levitating up there, as Fritz. This was a classically run Ballet School, not a recital school that featured sequins and inappropriate costumes and dancing to Lady Gaga. This was 6 days a week of strenuous muscle workouts and self-control. I know, I used to take adult class. The school was run by a husband and wife who each used to dance with a minor company before settling down and starting their family.
Whenever we could, back in the pre-poverty days, we would see a Ballet, or a play, or an orchestra – sometimes even in New York, oftentimes at the Bushnell, or Tanglewood. My older children really had the advantage of growing up with culture, the arts, and the means to keep themselves occupied through a worthwhile activity.
I was told back in the day, that dancing turned one into a f*g. That it wasn’t manly, and that boys needed to hunt and ride a unicycle, not wear tights and prance around a stage. At the time, one of my boys overheard this and asked me what a f*g was. Two of my pierced boys are married.
Have you ever seen a Baryshnikov video? It takes tremendous strength to partner, it takes a lifetime of discipline to have those skills.
I would much rather have my children putting on makeup and popping in an earring than sitting behind a video game. My children are extremely fit and healthy, to this day.
When times get really stressful, we pop on the Billy Elliot soundtrack, shove the furniture aside, and dance.
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. 2 Samuel 6:14
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance. Psalm 150
There are many more.
Oh, and I thought long and hard about writing this one. I’m bracing myself