Fred and Ginger / by Susie Lubell

Tap Shoes

I'm not one of those moms that does a lot of activities. My kids were in preschool all day until not long ago so I felt that was plenty of stimulation. Plus I was scarred from several attempts when my son was younger. When he was about a year and half I took him to one of those Music Together classes. It was a tryout session. He was a disaster. He was THAT kid. The one who doesn't participate in the conventional way. He was switching the lights on and off (who puts light switches low enough for a toddler to reach?) He was under the piano pressing the pedals. He was shrieking and pointing to the door. Home? Home? And then six months later we tried again. When we turned right to go to the church where it was held instead of left to go home, he started sobbing. Gymboree was out too. He couldn't even stand going there for birthday parties. Neither could I frankly. And then we tried soccer when he was four and it was torture for all involved. Even for his sister, who was desperate to play, but wasn't old enough. The only reason we did swim lessons last summer is that I don't want him to drown and if there was any other way for me to prevent that without him having to learn to swim, short of moving to the Gobi Desert, I would certainly have taken a different route.

But this year has been different. He's the tiniest bit more adaptable. So I put him in gymnastics for an hour after school on Wednesdays. And he loved it. It's right at his school. He met some new friends. Learned some tricks. My daughter and I went to the pool during that hour or the supermarket. It was great. So when I asked him if he wanted to do it again for the next session he said he wanted to do a different class. Tap and ballet. Great. Another activity that requires footwear.

And I knew exactly why he wanted to do tap and ballet. Because he wanted shiny black shoes with heels. He had spotted a pair at Target a few months ago and ever since he's been begging me to take tap and ballet so he can have shoes like that. So I signed him up and now that my daughter's old enough I signed her up too. And I bought him tap shoes. Lucky for me boys tap shoes are just black leather lace ups but they still have a sizable heel and make plenty of noise. So he was happy. And I bought my daughter taps and slippers too (They were having a BOGO at Payless). And both my kids are in heaven. They get home from school and immediately put on their taps. My daughter took her nap wearing her tap shoes yesterday. Today she was naughty and I took away her tap and ballet shoes and she had a tantrum the likes of which I haven't seen since this one.

As far as my son is concerned, it's hard to say at this point if dance will be his thing. How I wish he would have a thing, since until now his thing has been spending quality time with mommy. But one thing is for sure. He marches and taps to the beat of his own drummer.