For many years our family had just about enough time to notice that flowers were in bloom, but never enough time to enjoy the show. Two kids in school, two kids in activities, two big time careers, three grandparents needing various amounts of attention, Mother’s Day, spring planting jettisoned us toward Memorial Day.
Dance recital grabbed an early May week. From the innocent beauty of a simple white leotard with pink tights to the teen years of glitter, heeled tap shoes and too much homework, my daughter and I shared the nerves and triumphs of her days dancing on stage.
For a few years, her brother attended rehearsals and the recital, first in an infant carrier before graduating to sitting in the auditorium with bribes of snacks and new toys. But the experience was truly about being a part of her world. I assembled costume accessories, curled and pinned hair, stroked on make-up, tied shoes and provided whatever level of encouragement was required. A dance mom. Her mom. It was an awesome whirl, but when the curtain fell on the final performance each year we were ready to move forward.
Paddle turn, paddle turn, ball, change.
Our daughter has a daughter maybe six months from early dance classes if that appeals to them. Our granddaughter is a bolt of sunshine bringing energy and enthusiasm to every moment. She loves her friends, almost any outdoor activity, her bike, music, art projects, books, beads and pigtails. In a video she stretched out her toddler arms, stamped a foot on the floor, twirled and danced with Disney’s Elsa. I could almost hear the rhythm of tap shoes under a recital version of “Let It Go”.
She has the rhythm, the love of movement, and there will be many ways she might enjoy those in her future. And opportunities to bond with her mom. That’s the circle of life. Paddle turn.