When I was 4 years old my mother took me to Miss Genevieve's School of Dance near our home in Long Island. The pictures from those first few years of recitals reflect a happy, smiling little girl. Dressed in the requisite layers of tulle and frills, tap or ballet shoes on her feet enjoying every moment. Once we moved to Arizona, those dance classes became for me endless hours of torture. The giggles and innocence of little girls turned into cattiness accompanied by a level of competitiveness I dreaded. Truth be told, I was not much of a dancer. I was a dreamer, searching for every opportunity to lose myself in a book, or write in my journal. So, after much begging and pleading on my part followed by downright refusal to go on any longer, I quit dance for good.
Last week, I sat in an auditorium surrounded by vivid memories of those dance classes and recitals. For the past six months, my girls have been taking tap/ballet classes once a week. Their first recital was for them one of the highlights of their summer. For me, I had to take deep breaths, reminding myself this is one of the many things I have and will continue to do for my children. Given the choice, I would have been anywhere, but in that auditorium surrounded by pageantry and stage moms. They were lovely, in that sweet effervescent way only little girls can be. They smiled, giggled, tapped their way through their routine in their own layers of frills and tulle. There were my daughters, enjoying their first moment on stage, while I with tears in my eyes sat watching, cheering them on. Despite my hesitations, not to mention the two painful hours of performance I was subjected to during the course of the recital. I wouldn't have missed their five minutes for the world.