Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bear with me.

I have cute kids. I know this. It's one of many flaws-- that I know my kids are cute. It's okay though, because when they are this cute, it is hard to deny this fact. A few years ago, I took some pictures of Leenie when she was in ballet class with Miss Heidi in Washington DC. She adored ballet and adored Miss Heidi. I adored that she adored her slippers, tights, and leotard. I adored watching her be so happy dancing.

Recently, she has not found dancing to be something that makes her happy. She dreaded going to ballet, got easily sidetracked with anything else and told me that one of the girls in her class was mean. (I could understand it- I met the mom and she's a 'dance mom'... if you know what I mean) Hoping to reinvigorate her love for leather slippers, I enrolled her at the local ballet company's Nutcracker Dance Camp. For two and a half hours every afternoon, she danced with 14 other girls in 14 pair of pink tights and 14 black leotards. 15 girls had their hair pulled back in buns or pony tails, with those wispy baby hairs flying loose. 30 pink leather slippers sanded the floor as they learned parts of the dances from the Nutcracker.

On the last day of dance camp, the parents were able to come and see the last thirty minutes of class and what they had learned. It was a sweet moment watching my niece and daughter-- Niece being so serious, as if she were the only one on the stage-- if there was a stage and Leenie, happy to run circles as a mouse and point fingers a tea cup.

By no means do I expect that she will major in dance and be a part of the National Dance Company, touring the world... but, I want her to love something. I want her to find passion within something-- and if that thing changes over the course of her, I'm okay with that. If it is dance for a few years, then swimming after that, or soccer, or whatever-- we have to try many things before we find what we love. A dance mother, I am not. A mother- I am.

I don't know what it is about this picture, but it reminds me of Max from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon)

The Nutcracker Dance Camp renewed her love for leather slippers. Her cousin being with her did not hurt matters and the two are looking forward to being reunited as classmates in the fall- even if they are not in the same school from 8 to 3, they can be classmates for 50 minutes once a week.

So, allow this very proud mother a few pictures to show what she looks like dancing a few years later.  I can still see that little baby that danced with Miss Heidi in these pictures, but it is getting harder and harder as she becomes the little lady that she is destined to be. First grade is around the corner and adventures await her in the wings. But, for this moment- in her slippers and leotard, she is still my innocent little baby, learning.

Both of these girls make me so proud to be their mother and their aunt. I am a lucky, lucky fool. So, please bear with me as I put these pictures on the World Wide Web for you to skim through. These are more for me to remember this day, these smiles, and those little girls.

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