Archive | July 2010

Bumper Ballet

Have you ever wished you had the guts to learn something new as an adult without all the annoying embarrassment of not having done that thing all your life?  Like having the bumpers up at bowling?  No, I’m not talking about parenting.

Well, I am getting to do that with ballet… and I am loving it.  Props to the teacher, this amazing dancer at our church, who is teaching the classes… I have really enjoyed the stretch of learning something new, the frustration of not getting it, but the satisfaction of feeling good about keeping on.

The best part is, if I groan in class or flop over from lack of balance, no one stares.  Everyone just giggles with me.  *sigh*  LOVING IT.

Yay!  And it’s already feeling better in my knees!  Whoop whoop, pregnancy rehab!

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Bittersweet Ballet

Where did it all go?  This is what I was thinking after about 10 minutes of 1st position, 5th position, plié, and tendu.  Last night’s ballet class.  BEGINNER ballet class.

I realized very quickly that having a baby via c-section, complete with 3rd trimester “hypertension watch” due to severe swelling, has pretty much depleted me of balance.  Soon after, I gasped quietly as stabbing pains of “Hey!  Wait!  Swelling in the knees for three months!” began to throb from trying to mimic the teacher’s beautifully twisted toes.  Add to that the tippy-toes and the sweeping toes and then top it off with an absolutely unbearably numb abdomen… and I was in tears before I knew it.

Yeah, that’s me, the girl running — er, walking very quickly to the bathroom so she can cry it out and get back to the barre.  Okay, the chair backs we were using as substitutes until the real thing arrives.  It just feels nice to sound pretty by saying barre.  Barrrrrrre….

SIGH.

Okay… I can do this.  I can do this.  It’s just a shock and a surprise and embarrassing and man, I’m angry too!  I don’t like not being able to feel my tummy muscles as I try to hold them in — er, engage them.  Ugh.  Not a pretty feeling.

I wanted a pretty feeling.  😦

Oh well… at least I feel like I accomplished something by getting right back on the horse after crying things out in the ladies’ room.  At least the other ladies in the class were very friendly and didn’t treat me like some alien for my little episode.  And at least I was able to finish the class.  And at least I had a friend or two to commiserate with afterward… before going to pick up that little angel of a young man to whom I owe all of this unbearable pleasure — er, bearable displeasure.  He’s definitely worth it.  At least that is true.

🙂  Okay.  I blogged it all out.  I feel better.  Hopefully my body will, too.

The Spoils of Feminism

Much like the civil rights movement, the feminism movement has changed things a lot but has done very little to heal anyone — at least, not at the root of the issue (in my opinion).

I’m not a studied expert, but I’ve lived 30 years in a society bent on teaching me about my rights as a woman… that gives me a certain authority on how I view what feminism has done for me, and done against me.  Since I’ve been married, I’ve also seen what it’s done against my husband (twice divorced).

That’s right, feminism, I have a beef with you.

To all the women who have fought to grasp equality and rights and fairness in the workplace and at home, I appreciate the struggle you have faced.  You have done far more than I could probably ever conceive doing if I were in your place.  This is not a rant of superiority against you.

However…. what can we say to the hurts bestowed upon us generations of women taught a “new” set of rules — rules which declare “We can play with trucks too,” we should seek a college education, get a good job with a good salary, then find a husband to settle down with (one who will share the chores), then have children, and enjoy the fruits?  What a pretty “picture.”  We spend our whole lives chasing after it, and get angry or feel cheated or disappointed with any little piece that didn’t turn out right.

What can we say to the hurts known by the generations of men who have also been taught a “new” set of rules — rules which declare “Be a Good Boy,” sit still in class?  These men are told so little about being a man so that they no longer know how to pursue a woman.  Some get the honor of being dragged to the altar.   They have had their passion for a good fight squelched so deep that they have to watch movies or sports to get their fix.  (Making us a nation of spectators, has anyone noticed?)

What about the boy who wanted his mother, but that woman was told it’s better not to nurse — to put that child in daycare — to let someone else raise him?  What about the girl who has been told she’s the same, but is embarrassed that she can’t wrestle the same with her Daddy as her brother does — because she cries when she gets hurt?

Are we a society which has traded a belief in family for a belief in upward mobility — or is ladder climbing just the only thing we can still cling to?  Who really sits at home and enjoys their kids anymore?  What about those kids themselves?  I can’t tell you how many times I have been told “I miss them being that little” and then five minutes later, the same woman says “Oh, I couldn’t wait to get back to work.”

One woman is told how wonderful married life is (if you can find the right man) and then suddenly realizes she doesn’t know who she is, that this is not what she signed up for, and desperately seeks to go after school or a job where she knows she likes what she does.  The family is thrown into chaos.  The husband and children resent her.  But they don’t realize she was already resenting them, feeling trapped.

A husband, sick of the hen-pecking he’s gotten his entire life from women who have been told they can treat a man that way (not realizing they should be working to protect this man), leaves his wife’s “picture.”  The wife, genuinely blindsided, chokes down a bitter cup of abandonment and goes just a little more crazy each day.  Before too long, she has sunk into that dismal rut where men are hated and rejected, yet deeply longed for…

Men are not supposed to be these soft, sweet things that do the dishes and rub our feet “just because.”

Women are not supposed to have to fight for themselves.

Men are not meant to take whatever a woman throws at them and stay peaceful.

Women are not intended to fill a role and that be it.

Men are not all stupid pigs.

Women are not all catty bitches.

What is the answer?  Where do we get our healing?  How do we feed the masses?  I believe healing is possible… this is all just one more thing Christ died for.  There are safe places to learn Truth instead of Rules, like Living Waters, or just prayer with a friend!

But my biggest question: are these the spoils of feminism, or would it just be something else to rob us of our identity and purpose and freedom?