Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Beginning of the Beginning

I didn't know I was having a daughter, you know, when I was pregnant with my daughter. I mean I had dreams I was having a daughter, you know, when I was pregnant with my daughter, but that surely didn't mean I was going to have a daughter. But then I had a daughter. And then I just assumed that my daughter would be a girl...a smart, funny, well-rounded jock like me. And then this girl, this daughter of mine, started walking and talking and that turned into dancing and singing. And now she has strangers commenting on her calves and how sculpted they are. And she has school moms and dads complimenting her on her voice, which they said she projected far better than their own child's voice, or any of the other children's voices at this year's end of the year "Celebration of Learning" at our small, beautiful school. I'm realizing this ain't no child of mine...well, she's my child, all right, because she's a mini me. But she ain't from my mold.

My daughter can dance. She has danced her whole life, always on her toes (hence, the calves). She has fluttered, she has flittered, she always has a show for us. She dances in her room, in the guest room, in the boy's room, in the living room, in my best friend's living room, in the yard, in the car, in the pond. She has danced to Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, to The Sound of Music, to The Wizard of OZ, to The Backyardigans, to my music, to Paul Bunyan's music, to Van Halen (which still is Paul Bunyan's music). She dances to the music in her head. We had to get her dancing...I mean, really, formal dancing.

Here she is after 1 year of formal ballet training when she danced as a lightning bug in the Spring of 2007:

This is what she looked like after 2 years of formal ballet training when she danced as a cowgirl in the Spring of 2008:

(Meanwhile, I don't ask her to get in these poses for pictures. She just automatically does it.)

This year's Spring Performance was a little special. Bear decided it was going to be her last. And because it was going to be her last, I wanted to make sure everything was done "right", which is why I had this mother do her hair.

Her hands were moving so fast, I couldn't get them in focus.

This is my Sea Foam Queen.

And as she was preparing for the performance, I got all choked up. I started to get really sad about this being her last ballet performance. I mean, I'm not going to miss the practices, which are sooo ridicucously far out of our way; and I'm not going to miss bringing her two little brothers to these practices where they would play with the toys in the 'waiting' room so loudly that mothers, who were trying to enjoy 45 minutes of quiet free reading time, would give me the dirtiest, nastiest looks; and I'm not going to miss the howls that emanated from my daughter's mouth as I tried to pull her hair back into a bun; and I'm not going to miss making sure that her leotard and tights and ballet slippers were clean and doghair free; and I'm not going to miss the monthly tuition that always seemed an exorbinate amount of money, even thought it wasn't. So there's a lot of things that I'm not going to miss. But she was good. She was really really good. And okay, I never got to really watch her in class. But when I would peak through the pictures on the glass, when I could see her dance out of the classroom at the end of each class, and when I was able to officially come into the classroom to "observe", she was the only one holding up her hands correctly, pointing her toes the right way, standing with her shoulders back and head up high. She was the most graceful! She would have been the lead dancer, if she stuck with it. She would have been the star of the show one of these nights. She would have been talked about for years after her graduation as being the dancer who made it to NYC!! All right, she may have had an eating disorder and probably would have become a crazy psycho bitch, but she really would have been a star! I just know it.

As bear got up on stage for her final bow, I realized that this won't be her final show.

She'll be the star dancer in some shape, in some form, in some flittering way...maybe on a field, maybe in a pool, maybe in the classroom...

and definitely, always, in our heads.

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