Watching Tori get corrected by her dance teacher, I feel the sudden weight of depression. "You can't stand over by the wall after each move. You have to focus on the steps!," says the teacher. I instantly see my 6-year-old self in gym class--awkward, distant, unfocused--trying to daydream the hour away. To daydream myself out of this embarrassing, vulnerable position. But Tori is unfazed. She tries her best to join in, to follow the movements of the other girls. And soon she's back in step. By this time, 6-year-old me would either have frozen or run from the room.
Because of the birth injury to my right arm (Google brachial plexus injury if you're interested), I went thru most of my educational experience with a gym excuse note pinned to my chest. My Zodiac sign is the Exemption. And while I know that's not Tori's situation, I worry for her.
Like me, she only seems able to complete tasks that interest her. Everything else she abandons in frustration. I know, she's not even 6. But that's how I was. I've been virtually unemployable for 28 years, spending my 20s drunk and drifting from one low-level job to the next: salesman, stock clerk, proofreader. Even sober and medicated, I've been unable to string togethner anything more than a few months of full-time employment. I may have gotten away with it. But the world my daughter will face will doubtless be less forgiving. And she can't be a panhandler. Or find a room for $9 a day the way I did. So, this is the part where I'm supposed to tie things up with a sweet message of hope. All I can say is that I love my daughter. And if she turns out like me, I'll probably be a horrendous enabler.