Friday, March 7

My little music box dancer

On almost any given late summer evenings in 1976, a young motherbumper could be found with her girl 'hood posse, practising her cartwheels, front walkovers, and the dare-devil "look ma, no hands" rounder cartwheels.

I was a Nadia Comaneci wanna-be of the nth degree. My sister could play "Nadia's Theme" on the piano - which I requested endlessly - and I wanted to be her. She was the darling of the Montreal Olympics that year and all the girls in my posse dreamed of perfect 10s in our gymnastics future.

Other girls had more talent than little ol' me, but that didn't stop me from dreaming of future Olympic gold. To me, it seemed like I was the only girl in the neighbourhood that didn't take official gymnastic lessons, so I used to force them to teach me everything they learned, and beg for all riveting details of who could do what, the equipment layout, how they chalked the hands, and how to solve the age-old issue of spandex wedgies (best advice: don't do it in front of the judges, just work through it).

We would design our Olympic outfits, hair styles, and practice our podium stances. Yup, we were going for gold. I actually miss the never ending Olympic passion felt as a child but somehow I find it each time the heart-swelling opening ceremony of any Olympic games is on tv. When Canada comes trooping in, my eyes never fail to well up.

That was many moons ago but the passion never died. I'll watch gymnastics any chance I get. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered our recreation department had affordable gymnastics classes for the wee ones.

Bumper started in the 6-18mth old class and much to my joy: she loved it. We now have advanced to the 2-3 year old class and by far her favourite piece of equipment is the trampoline, with the horizontal bars, and vault further behind. I love that she enjoys it as much as I did when I was a kid. Of course, she's way more flexible and dare devil than her ol' mom and that just makes me beam even more.

I'll never push her into advancing into more structured gymnastic lessons because the passion needs to be there. For now, playing with the equipment and watching her bounce with abandon on the trampoline is enough.

But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I dream that the passion is in her heart and that maybe she can score that Wheaties box cover that her mom didn't get.

This post is part of the today's Parent Bloggers Network Blog Blast that focuses on activities you do with your child that you did as a kid. The sponsor is Highlights magazine who is celebrating their 60th Anniversary (60! woah - lookin' good) and has a new magazine for the 2-6 age set called High Five. Join in the blast for a chance to will a cool prize.


Heather said...

My daughter wanted to take gymnastics but I had to let her know that it's harder for tall girls to do the stuff. She was a little bummed until I said that I couldn't do it as a girl...then she thought it was great that we had that in common.

Maybe I stifled something she'd have been good at, I don't know.

It's fun when they do stuff we liked though.

something blue said...

A bouncing Bumper would be awesome to watch. Fingers crossed that using all the energy brings on extended naptime.

I think my girls would like to take princess lessons.

Mayberry said...

Mine does Tumblin' Tots which is too cute for words--just like Bumper is I am sure!

kittenpie said...

I was way too cautious a child for anything more than cartwheels, though I did an endless number of those, alright.

I just wish Pumpkinpie had retained more of that early fearlessness, as she is showing signs of becoming a chicken like me. sigh. I try to push her a bit, but not too hard. Where to draw the line?

Redneck Mommy said...

I took gymnastics as a child. It was the only thing my parents would enroll me in. It rocked.

I was awesome on the uneven bars...until I slipped and landed on my nose and blood gushed everywhere and life as I knew it stopped.

Still, to be able to twirl on those bars once more...

Never mind. I'd probably just catch my boob rings on them and rip the girls right off, knowing my luck.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

You know, you kind of resemble Nadia.

But what the hell do I know? I can't even do a cartwheel. No lie. Never could.

Sandra said...

Like Chicky, I can't do a cartwheel to save my life. But my very best friend in high school was a gymnastics prodigy! I used to watch the Olympics and imagine her in it. She now runs her own gymnastics club ...

Lisa b said...

That was 1976? I feel so OLD
The olympics always get me misty too.

petite gourmand said...

I always sucked at gymnastics...but wished I didn't.
I loved putting the chalk on my hands and pretending to be all pro.
I can at least do the splits though...well with the encouragement of a couple of glasses of wine.

checked out the high five site- cute.

mamatulip said...

I hope the exercise brings NAPS.

Hey, congrats on the new gig at sk*rt! That's awesome.

Janet said...

I am a gymnastics spaz. I never, ever learned to to a cartwheel.

Still, I do love watching gymnastics. I put my first two in gymnastics a few years ago. After a few lessons Hailey refused to participate because her teacher was a boy.


I'm going to try again with Elyse.

Alex Elliot said...

I'm thinking about doing a Y class with my younger son. My older one was freaked out by the balance beam which was about a half an inch off the floor.

Ms Picket To You said...

My 6 year old daughter was the only girl and the only 1st grader in a floor hockey tournament this weekend. When she scored, I screamed like a lunatic, pumped my fists in the air and almost ripped off my shirt ala Brandi Chastain. Inappropriate? Perhaps. It's just so excellent to see a girl kick ass sometimes, and of course, I wish it were me.

simplypink said...

I wanted to be Nadia too, except I couldn't turn a cartwheel. I was like your sister and just provided the piano arrangement for others. I wonder if there was a little girl in the WORLD that year that took piano and didn't learn to play that song?