On the last day of school everyone was so excited. SUMMER BREAK! NO HOMEWORK! Not for me. My mother put me to work. My sister and I would have major projects around the house to do. Dishes? Please. Try painting a picket fence around an acre of land. I think I was 10 the first time she had us do it. Taking out the garbage? I wish. Try scrubbing a 600 square foot deck with nothing but a garden hose and one of those green dish scrubber things. Cutting down trees, picking up apples and wheel barreling them to the back of the yard, mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower (once with one that was a non powered)... these were the things I had to look forward to doing. But I have to tell you, every July, when I was at my wits end doing all this labor at home on my “vacation”, I would remember, school is coming and my attitude changed to gratitude. Remembering that school was coming gave me a panic attack. I didn’t HATE school. I liked to learn and I usually had a lot of friends. But, come on, a male gymnast… in middle school? School wasn’t a year of education; it was a sentence to a year of bullying. Just because I chose to flip instead of hit.
The bullying topic is a big one (I’ll be talking about it often), so I thought I’d talk about when the anxiety started for me, and ask, does this happen to your dancer in the summer when school is still 7 or 8 weeks away? And is there something that anyone does in the summer that helps their son (if they are bullied) recover from whatever garbage happened to them during the school year? Is the summer a chance to have them build an even stronger relationship with dance that it is what keeps them going during the school year of harassment? Or maybe it’s a time of year where the dancer can explore his strength and understanding of his body from his dance training and apply it to a couple sports so gym class isn’t horrible? If there are midsummer night's nightmares happening, is there something we can do about it?