Saturday, our ballerina had her dance recital. Two years ago, we gave the studio a clumsy, always-tripping eight-year-old, and now she is a graceful ten-year-old who seldom falls or knocks things over.
Maybe that’s partly due to growing up, but we think ballet gets at least a bit of the credit. She only takes lessons one hour a week, but she’s always dancing, always practicing, in the house, in the yard, everywhere we go. She’s standing on one leg for it seems 50% of her waking hours, and you need to mind the twirling or you’re likely to get smacked in the head or the shin. If you hang out in our kitchen with us, you’ll often hear me saying, “No dancing in the kitchen!”
This year, our ballerina had to learn one of the ugliest facts about life: little girls can be really mean. One of the girls in her ballet class – a good friend – decided to ignore our gal for unknown reasons. This former friend made her own little clique of followers to whisper and giggle with, causing the ones on the “outside” to wonder if it was them to whom the giggles and whispers were aimed.
I knew that reality was coming – all of us big girls went through it at that preteen age. More is just coming at her, isn’t it?
There was a big lump in my throat Saturday, watching our ballerina, seeing how beautiful she is on the outside while knowing how beautiful she is on the inside. She kept saying hello to her old friend, even while ignored, and was careful to not spread gossip about her.
I’m not sure I was so wise at her age, so once again, here I go, learning from my children.