Clara is very concerned about her dance recital on Friday evening. It is becoming a constant source of anxiety for her. The least of her concerns are the usual fears of stage fright and the inability to do the dance steps she has been practicing in class (which seem to consist mainly of stepping forward and backward on cue without looking at her teacher.)
No, her main trepidation is in her inability to choose who she is going to point at. Apparently, there is a time in the program when the children are going to be asked to point at someone in the audience that is special to them. And the poor little girl doesn’t know if she should point at me or mom, or Lydia or Gideon. Gran or Papa? Grandma or Granddaddy? Uncle Isaac or Adam? All of these special people that are planning to come to her performance and she has to pick only one of them to be considered special to her. It is impossible.
She tried to convince me the other day that we should all sit in a long row behind each other so she can just point in a line at all of us at once. I told her that was probably not possible. So, she suggested we sit as a group and maybe she can just move her finger around in a circle and get all of us at once. “Maybe,” I told her.
Then I caught her standing downstairs last night practicing a two handed quick draw. When I asked what she was doing she explained that she was practicing in case people she cared about sit on opposite sides of the room from each other. She held still for a few seconds and then quickly drew her hands out to point to the left and right corners of the room. She smiled hesitantly and looked to me for approval. I raised an eyebrow, and motioned for her come and sit on my lap.
“I wish only one of you would come to watch. Then it would be much easier to choose.” She said finally.
I hugged her. “But that probably isn’t going to happen.” I said, “And do you know why?”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because when we are asked to point at someone that is special to us, we all want to be there so we can point at you.” I poked her in the chest and she smiled. And then I tickled her, because that is the best way I have found to clear the mind of a child.