My 15-year old daughter has a week of open house at her dance studio where we can go in and watch her classes. The warm up, the technical exercises, the teaching method, the relationship between the dancers and the dancers and teacher gives you an appreciation of the work ethic, attitude, skill and effort it takes to put a dance together.
The Company group that she is involved with holds a fundraiser at this time; the dance studio provides coffee, tea and treats; and they take up a collection for coats and food for the local food bank. It is a great way to build community and to get to know my daughter’s friends, the parents of the friends that she spends the majority of her time with every week and her teachers.
I went to every one of her open house classes. I took photos and video. I contributed to the treats, volunteered to clean up one night and set up the coffee room another day. I helped sell popcorn for the fundraiser.
I know my ex gets the emails and information about the events at the studio and he has attended at least one of her classes during open house in the past. There is only one more day left this dance season for my ex to see our daughter in class. I asked her if he was going to attend. Her response was a look and, “What do you think?” She continued, “He said he didn’t understand why parents of kids my age would go to open houses especially when they will see the dance 5000 times.”
I have not been the only parent attending her classes. After she told me what her dad said I counted at the next class–9 dancers (2 were absent at a school Xmas band concert), 10 people watching both dads and moms and one sibling. Regarding the 2 kids missing–I sat beside the dad and mom of one dancer the previous night so I am sure they would have been there if she was dancing. The other dancer at the Xmas concert had a mom who was so sick. The mom texted me that she couldn’t go to the band concert (her dad was going) because she would be coughing all the way through it and she didn’t want to ruin the performance for everyone. She texted that she definitely shouldn’t be a the studio either but her other daughter wanted her to see her dance (especially since her dad was going to be at the concert) so she was going to pop in for a bit. I watched parents split up and take turns dividing their time in each class when they had more than one child dancing.
There is another group of dancers my daughter’s age that run parallel classes. Their ballet and jazz classes are too big so they created 2 separate classes. Others take classes that my daughter dropped–Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. I saw parents of those 15-year olds going into their classes as well.
I know parents have commitments and may not be able to make it but there was a lot of support for 15-year old children. It is nice to know that the majority seem to believe there is no age limit to your children benefiting from feeling like their parents love and support them and care about what they are doing.
My ex will not get to see our daughter dance any of the dances she is learning in these classes until March. The open house isn’t about watching the dance. They spent the last 2 minutes showing us the dance they are working on but those aren’t even completed yet. In her ballet class they performed a Xmas Nutcracker dance they worked on specifically for the open house.
Anything can happen. Living in the now is all we have. It is just more insight into my ex’s thinking–“I will support you in 3 months time but not right now. Maybe if you were younger you would get my time now.” Although history proved that wasn’t reality either.
2 thoughts on “Fifteen–The age to stop showing your child you care”
I keep saying that people who abandon their children are not worth the oxygen they breathe.
I see this from the perspective of a father of a former high school and competitive cheerleader. I traveled thousands of miles to nearly all of her events over the six years (started in 7th grade competitive) except where there was a conflict with my other children’s sports or band competitions and I had to split duties. Unless you are working, with another kid or taking care of a sick parent what’s your excuse I thought. What really, really frosted me were parents (moms and dads here – not just dads) who didn’t show up for their child’s sports award dinner or SENIOR WALK. Even if your child is not getting an award, show up! Clap, applaud, smile. Yes- I was ignored by her the whole time but later – she said she was glad I was there. I would have dragged myself across the football field or basketball court on bloody elbows to be beside my daughter for her senior recognition, yet I remember many girls walking with just their mom. That is a dad fail x1000 unless you have a really, really good excuse (ER doc – emergency surgery, soldier – deployed, first responder – emergency, etc.) not “hockey playoffs.” I say you don’t show for these events you don’t get the big ones such as giving her away at her wedding or standing up beside her and your son in law when your grandchildren are baptized or confirmed.