Saturday, October 30, 2004

Playing Taps

Left-Handed Power-Hitting Son and I were up before the sun this morning, preparing for our Saturday morning ritual: a trip to Starbucks, where we scarf banana loaf cake and chocolate milk, and we read the sports page together. I’m raising my son to be a man, and this is what men do. We talk about football and get all hopped-up on sugar first thing in the morning.

Before we left the house, we were in Left-Handed Power-Hitting Son’s room getting him dressed. I was sitting on his bed and after I had wrestled his squirmy feet into his socks, I asked him to go to the closet and pick out some shoes.

He returned with two shiny black tap shoes.

“Who’s are those?” I asked.

“They’re mine,” he said. “I’m going to be a tap dancer.”


Blink. Blink.

My first impulse was to lock him in a closet with a stack of Playboys and monster truck magazines and not let him out until his 18th birthday. But then I remembered a story my mother told me about my youth. Seems I used to carry my Hot Wheels cars around the neighborhood in a pink vinyl purse. And I turned out voraciously hetero nonetheless.

“Really, bud?” I asked. “Where did you get those shoes?”

He didn’t hear the question. He was on the floor, grunting, trying to squeeze his size five feet into a girls’ size three tap shoe. He was growing frustrated because only three of his toes could be wedged in. I intervened before his frustration elevated into a full-blown tantrum.

“How about this, pal: we’ll put on some other shoes for now and work on the tap shoes when we get home from Starbucks. OK?”

“OK, I guess,” he said.

He then retreated to his closet and began to dig around. A part of me was petrified that he would return with a pair of stiletto heels or ballet slippers. But he reappeared holding his new Power Ranger sneakers – the ones with little red lights on the side that light up each time he takes a step. Thank Christ.

In the car on the way to Starbucks, I queried Left-Handed Power-Hitting Son about his interest in tap. I wasn’t trying to discourage him just because it wasn’t the interest I would have chosen for him, but – well, I take that back. Yes. Yes I was.

He detailed for me that all of the little girls in the neighborhood take tap and he wanted to be with them. And it struck me that my little boy wasn’t a sissy at all. He was trying to impress the girls. Because we’re men, and that’s what men do.


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Lala said...

All hail the Evans Genes!!! Rah rah sis boom bah!

Soon you'll be teaching him pick-up lines. If he's anything like you he'll end up with a "Hot Kindergarden Girlfriend"(tm)

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot Kindergarten Girlfriend. hahaha. good one Lala.

you handled yourself well, Dan Evans. my husband would have been reduced to immediate tears and begging. you would have heard him from here...nooooooooooooooooooooo! not taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap!!!

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Elle said...

if my boyfriend started tapdancing, i think it might possibly be the hottest thing ever. i mean, think of savion glover. oh my. don't discourage the arts. chicks totally dig it.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Come on, tap, cance, yoga - where all the hot chicks hang out. Just avoid aerobics, you don't want them to see you sweat more than they do. He's starting early, wanting to hang out where the girls are. You're training him right.

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