Ethan and the E People
Elita Sohmer Clayman
Ethan and the E People.
Ethan, my number three grandson is three years old and one
month. He goes to Pre School which in his father’s time was
called nursery school. When he was there for his first day,
he did this. He had a tear in his eye on that day when his
mom took him. The teacher told my daughter-in-law to stay
outside of the door and if he still was sad, she could come
in. She peeked in the window a few minutes later and he was
fine, so she left. When she picked him up three hours later,
he was very happy to see her and told her what he had done
Yesterday his dad (my son) dropped him off. Ethan saw a
classmate with tears in his eyes and his nose was running.
So darling and sweet Ethan went to the Kleenex box, got one
and wiped the tear from his friend’s eyes. The teacher told
my son that never in the twenty years she was teaching
there; she had never seen a three year old who was so
compassionate and kind. She has been a teacher for a long
time and she was overwhelmed at Ethan’s actions.
Ethan at this young age shows the kindness that I tried to
teach his dad and my daughter when they were growing up to
practice. All grandparents think their grandkids are special
and beautiful and articulate. It is always true, in this
case it is especially so.
Grand parenting is different than parenting. We are much
older, we send them home at the end of the day after their
visit and we spoil them as much as we can. I do not call it
spoiling; I call it treating them in an extraordinary and
dear manner. It is they who make us distinctive in our
senior years and we are grateful we had their mommies and
daddies in our lives for so many moments; now we have them
with great joy.
Many times when we are at a dance and see a new person
attending, we think, why are they here and where did they
come from? If we are in a good mood, we may go over,
introduce ourselves and welcome them. It is analogous to
Ethan wiping a tear, in a way.
These folks come and they may be apprehensive going to a new
place where they may not know one person or if lucky may
know a few persons. They feel inhibited to go and do the
first dance because they may think others are dancing so
much better than them. They are brave and go out and dance.
Then they feel a bit more courageous and bold and dance a
second dance. By then, they are feeling good that they tried
out something new in a different atmosphere and they feel
The second time they come to the dance studio or hall; they
are much more fearless and dance many dances and say hi to a
few people they saw the last time. Now they have added this
studio to their list of places to dance and they are elated.
They need no tears wiped from their faces because they are
sad like the little boy who had his tears wiped by Ethan.
They are no longer sad or anxious about coming on the dance
floor. They are proud now to be dancing especially at the
new place that became the old place to them.
They are happy as the little boy
was to be there accomplishing this at this time in their
life. They proceeded and won the battle of being the new
person at the dance. They by now have made friends, at least
one or two couples and are in with the crowd. They can enjoy
themselves, not be scared of dancing on the beautiful floor
and even may have gotten to the point that they are showing
off their new steps and arm movements. This is the
progression in ballroom dancing that we all are attaining
and aiming to do. Ten things to abide by in taking up
Number one being thinking about doing IT. It being dancing.
Number two calling up to get the pricing and schedule.
Number three setting the day and time. Number Four arriving
there. Number five taking the actual private or group lesson
and being nervous. Number six the lesson is over and they
feel elated. Number seven going out to eat dinner or a snack
and feeling on top of the world. Number eight calling up
their children or best friend and bragging. Number nine
looking forward to the next session Number ten wow I or we
did it. We are becoming ballroom dancers. Number eleven
through number one hundred going to lots of dances forever.
As that college professor told me many years ago when I was
thirty-four years old and I went back to get a college
degree. He wrote on that first test booklet “Mrs. Clayman,
you can and will do better.” That was all the inspiration I
needed, I did excel and graduate five years later with honor
because I wanted to prove this teacher knew who he was
encouraging. We all need encouragement and someone just
wrote me that my articles are enlightening, encouraging,
entertaining and emboldening. I mention the professor often
because his words can also encourage someone new reading my
column. If one person viewing this column realizes that they
can and will do better in something, then it is worthwhile
Encouragement can be in anything. Ethan wiping the tears of
his classmate, Dr. Levay
emboldening me with his simple words, a fellow dancer
welcoming us to the dance world and even our stimulating our
children to do well in their lives. We seniors and even not
yet seniors need to hear that we can do things and do them
now. We need not sit on our couches and constantly watch
television. We need to be spurred on to do something of real
worth and surely dancing is true worth. Entertaining is what
dancing is really meant to be and we are enlightened into a
new world that we never thought we would be a part of.
My husband and I were in a terrible car accident in June and
we were hurt quite a lot.
The man was texting and ran a red light and we were the
recipient of his actions. Now almost four months later, we
are getting back to normal activities with some
I was walking down the steps of my son’s townhome in
Northern Virginia while visiting there. My three year old
Ethan mentioned above chanted Go Grammie Go, Grammie,
Grammie because he saw me walking very slowly down their
steep steps. I laughed but in his three year old brilliant
mind, he was supporting and cheering me on. Not only was
this intelligent and clever (aren’t we grandparents full of
braggadocio); he was giving me motivation to walk a bit
faster. Cheering has been said by someone named Joseph
Addison as “kind of daylight in the mind.” Our minds are
full of daylight because we are dancers. This is so true. We
may be mostly dancing actually in the twilight or nighttime
but our lives are full of sunshine because of the daylight
of the mind. We are advancing our
selves on and also doing it for our friends and associates
at the dance studio.
That is what we dancers must always do. We must encourage,
and epitomize what we dancing people do. We must welcome our
new visitors to the studio or hall and we must show them
that we are E people. We are excited to be dancers, we must
embrace them as new dancers, and we must emerge as their
mentors when they come and lastly we must have them expand
their desire to continue on. So entertaining, emboldening,
encouraging, enlightening, enchanting, epitomizing is what
we should show them our beloved dancing is to us and will
become to them. E people are
especially excellent and exceed and eclipse what is thought
about us seniors. We were in our younger days great and now
we are continuing that on.
Asian people are known for revering their elders and
appreciating them and honoring them even as they age more.
That is what we now seniors can expect from our self, the
notion that we are still better and we can enlarge and
expand on that concept. We are
eminent emissaries of later life and what we can affect.
People climb mountains in different ways and still reach the
top. Ballroom dancers reach the pinnacle every time they go
out and dance. The high point is our zenith.
Keep on Dancing Always