Certified Free Spirit.
The whirling and dancing started early in the kitchen.
Give up on the attention span. Forget the redirecting. No way.
After weeks of rushing to arrive on time and in ready position.
The quickly hushing of excited little voices.
The comical intensity of their faces while listening and trying what to remember to practice at home
(NO! THIS is the way she said. No, mom. I was there. I heard! THIS way.)
(I hear you muttering, young lady. Enough.)
Even the TV shows jingle and tease with Nutcracker notes.
Everyone will be watching.
All good intentions over.
Time to perform.
And in addition, there would be a Cer-tif-i-cate!
With her name on it: Hand signed in elegant script – none of that printer stick letter stuff.
With swirls and flourishes.
All her own.
Suitable for framing.
Oh, the joy!
The car ride, an eternity.
I am sitting quietly.
Why not make faces at them? They were staring.
I am not bouncing around.
Can you please get in the other lane? That car is going too slow.
There. There. Park there. We can walk.
No it’s not muddy. Oh, I’ll hop across.
I will not get my feet dirty feet.
No, You do not need to straighten my collar. It is not crooked.
Time to prance a little heart out: reveal the passion and dedication.
The line formed.
Each a study of concentration – alternating with quick glances for reassurance.
Ready. The tiny toes carefully placed.
The steps, a few hours ago done with confidence, would pressure make them hesitate: timid and unsure?
Then, they flowed like streamers in the wind: across and around.
The patterns remembered.
Oh, the pride!
Finally the release. The sighs of relief.
Happy grins at what comes next: the awarding of the Cer-tif-i-cates.
One by one: An individual time to shine. Beaming in front of all others.
This is it: The culmination of weeks of work
Oh, no. Pay attention! It’s time for the Cer-tif-i-cate!
She missed her name.
She’s focused on the table full of treats – and how many steps it will take…
Oh, OK. The instructor just walked over.
Careful. Don’t want it smudged or rumpled.
We’ll just put it over here.
Whew. That went well.
Nooooo, Molly. Nooooo!
LET GO OF THE CERTIFICATE STACK!
The others want theirs without punctures and tooth marks.
Release. NOW. Noooooo, Molly. Nooooo! Let go!
A few dents, but not torn.
Yes, she is fast.
Guess we could use a few more manners classes.
The sign up sheet?
You have her name already on it?
In elegant hand written script.
So, she made a name for herself.
(She looked just like the one on the certificate right?)
Embracing the free spirit,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge