A Change in Direction
Starting this week, a series of ten blog posts will offer an explanation. I am going to write about the events that led us to decide to remove our son from the ballet school he was attending. The story is shocking, and you may choose to not read the blog for a while. If this is what you choose, I completely understand.
The tone of the blog is about to change as it tells a different story. Up until now I have been telling a tale about a lack of understanding. This is a universal story, and is not only relevant to ballet. Any parent could find themselves completely alienated by their child’s dream: football, political lobbying, medicine, theatre, painting. Any passion may leave the parent thinking: what have we produced? Up until now, the blog has been about a father making a choice - to support a child even though the dad has no appreciation of the son’s chosen vocation. If I never watched another ballet in my life, I don't honestly think that I would even notice. It just doesn't move me. Up until now, I have made myself the brunt of all the jokes: a dad who is out of his depth; a dad whose vision of the world is wrong; a dad who misses his son more than he can describe; a dad who is permanently confused. I have portrayed myself as a grotesque clown in my own narrative. I wanted to make you laugh, and sometimes provoke your empathy.
Now this is about to change. The central figure is about to be recast. Mr Bean is about to turn into Erin Brockovich. There are only a few areas of life in which I feel really confident; one of them happens to be getting my point of view across. Ask me to put up a bookshelf and I will freeze with panic; ask me to help out with an employment dispute, and I know exactly what to do. I am the sort of father who will walk over hot coals for his children, I am also the sort of person who has a heightened need for justice. Life has taught me that you bide your time - you watch and wait - and you only get involved with disputes when you are certain that you will win.
There are two uncomfortable questions that I need to ask:
- What would you have done in my position?
- What are we going to do about this as a community? Our story is not unique. We are not the first people that this has happened to; and I know for a fact that we are not the last.
We have debated as a family whether I should tell this story. We are all aware of the possible implications, but we all still feel that the story needs to be told. The events in the story are shocking. I am not going to report anything that I do not have evidence for. If you choose to read this, you will be accompanying me and my family to some very dark places; and the conclusion of this story with astonish you. I have decided to call this sequence of blogs, Exit Stage Left.