I could see her standing there, in the shadows, waiting in the wings as the Can-Can Dancers finished their dance. The music stopped, the theatre darkened. Still, I could see her little four year old body, in that baby pink costume that so reminded me of the closet full of pink clothes when she was baby, anxious about what was to come. The line of little girls was led out onto the stage, so precious in their smallness. The audience immediately aaaahhhhddd…..I could see her face, her eyes scanning the audience, looking for Mommy and Daddy. There was fear – a fear she hadn’t seemed to feel before this moment. And then she saw us, and her beautiful smile took the place of the look of fear. She smiled, and waved, and then got into first position, ready to begin. The music started, and my tiny ballerina doll began the dance she has been practicing for months and months. She looked to the other girls for reassurance, to make sure she was doing the right steps, and went on. It wasn’t perfect, but we hadn’t expected them to do EVERYTHING in just the right time or right order, but the girls were so cute, so wanting to be like the “big dancer girls”……They finished in a curtsy, a flurry of pink tutus, and got a standing ovation. And then they didn’t know what to do. Their teacher quietly called to them, and one by one, they walked off the stage, their first recital of their young lives completed. And I cried. I can’t believe I cried.
Yesterday, we had a repeat at the afternoon performance. It was better than the first. Amazingly, I cried again. My baby girl is still a baby when compared to all the other girls dancing yesterday, but oh, how she has grown up so quickly. The girls still got the oohhs and ahhs from the audience. She knew where I was sitting this time. On the way in when I was dropping her off, she told me “Momma, I’m gonna do BIG STEPS so you can see them, okay?” She did a great job. Yesterday, I took her pink roses when I picked her up at intermission. She was so proud of those flowers….I’m sure the first of many roses she will receive in her life…..she didn’t let them go until we got home and she advised me to put them in a vase with water. And she had asked, “Momma, did you see my big steps?” “Yes, baby, I saw your big steps, and you were beautiful.”