Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Dancing Stars Yesterday & Today

Dear Em,

Weren't your aunts Jennie & Gina the most adorable little dancers ever? These photos come from probably almost 15 years ago. I remember how amazing they looked, but I don't remember seeing them dance. Maybe I was babysitting your uncles while my parents went to watch? Maybe I was just a self absorbed & busy teenager? I'm not sure.

This past weekend I attended the first dance recital that I can remember: your dance recital. We started the day & you were a little cranky. You complained that your stomach & your head hurt. Oh no, not another stomach bug?! It took me a little while to realize that you were nervous for your special day & didn't know how to communicate it. You're such a confident, jump right in kind of girl, that I sometimes miss the cues when you're feeling worried.

We put your costume on, & for the first time ever, I put makeup on you. The makeup seemed to calm your nerves. You twirled around in front of the mirror & told me you looked "like a whole new person." We took some photos & drove the short way to the school where your recital was being held.

As I went to drop you off in the classroom you would wait in with your little friends while Daddy & I watched the recital, you were very clingy & cranky. I stayed with you until I absolutely had to leave, hoping you would start to feel more comfortable. I left & came back with some snacks (maybe you were hungry?), & was delighted to see you happily playing with your little friends.

I took my seat for the recital next to Daddy, in the same row as Grandma, Papa, & your best friend's family (she was dancing in the recital too). All of a sudden, I felt tears in my eyes. This weepy feeling came over me. In my mind, I was telling myself to knock it off. You weren't even on stage yet, & my body was turning on the waterworks. It was that moment I realized we were at our daughter's very first dance recital. You had worked hard all year & were going to show us what you had learned. I was simultaneously nervous for you & overwhelmed by how big you're getting.

I pulled myself together & enjoyed the show. There were some really great numbers. S came on with her dance group. They were dressed in bright neon & danced to Polka Dot Circus. It was cute & entertaining & fun. S did so great!

It was time for your group, & I readied myself. I had told you to have fun & smile & do your best, but Daddy & I were a little nervous you would freeze on stage. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I saw your first smile on stage. Then you put your fingers over your lips & told the crowd to "Shh." You had the auditorium laughing.

For the next few minutes, a smile a mile wide was plastered on my face as you danced to Topsy Turvy. I can't believe how well you & your very young group did. I could tell by the adorable looks on your face, you were having so much fun performing! You did your arabesques & taps & spins so well. In fact after each each spin, you gave the crowd a thumbs up to let them know "I got this." Even though you were doing the same moves as the rest of the girls, your personality truly shined. You even got poked in the eye & kept dancing (Daddy & I were prepared for some crying at that moment). You all ended your dance with your cheeks in your hands, & the crowd roared with applause & laughter.

I'm not sure what I expected, but your first dance recital performance was beyond anything that I could have even dreamed of. You're getting so big, & you continually surpass any expectations Daddy & I have for you. We're so proud of our adorable & sassy little ballerina.

I love you so,

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