I’m quickly learning that being a parent means sometimes letting your kids do stuff you may not endorse one-hundred percent. For me and my nearly five-year-old daughtear that “stuff” involves dancing. This weekend she had her first dance recital. I’ve heard all the recital horror stories and well, some of them are true. At nearly four and a half hours, it is one of the longest things I have ever sat through.
My daughter was only in one number that lasted all of four minutes. Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it) her dance was in the first act. That meant after her dance, we still had one full act and a half to go before the final bow. I could have cleaned my entire house during that time and probably stopped for a coffee. Instead, we stuck it out and supported our tiny dancer (cue the Elton John music). I just wish I was as smart as some other moms who came armed with a cooler full of snacks. My kids’ goldfish and fruit snacks only went so far seeing that I was there about an hour earlier than the rest of my family. I could have eaten my chair by the time it was all over.
Despite all of that, I never thought I’d say this, but it was really exciting to see my daughter up there on the stage dancing. She didn’t freeze. She didn’t cry. She just danced. While she was not perfect, I think she did pretty darn good seeing that this was her first time on stage and that she was the youngest and smallest one in the group. As I was watching, I felt mommy pride build up inside and I could feel the tears start to come to the surface. I didn’t cry, but I was pretty close! I was just so proud of her. It was just a little thing, but to her it was the world. After her dance, I went backstage. As soon as she saw me she yelled, “Mommy, mommy, I did it!” She was so proud of herself, which made me even prouder.
I was surprised at how emotional I was because I wasn’t 100% invested in this dance thing from the start even though my checkbook was. I was never a dancer and just never really got the fascination with the whole thing. I still don’t get why all the girls need to pile on the make-up to go on stage. My daughter had no blush, no eyeshadow, no lipstick, and her own eyelashes and she performed just fine. I guess I’m just not a true “dance mom” since I let my daughter go “au natural”.
As much as it kills me, I will let my daughter continue to dance (at least for awhile) if she really wants to. She looked forward to class every week and enjoyed the recital (most of it). I can’t take that away just because I’m not a dancing queen. For now, I’ll just have to deal with my dancing princess.