the dance

by humanmama on May 17, 2011

Well, today was Helena’s last day of “Ballet 1” where children (in this case, little girls) age 3-4 pretty much run around like lunatics and pretend to be princesses. It was amazing. They let parents come and watch on the last day and it was one of those horrible mornings where you’re (I’m) running around, the kids aren’t listening, you’re angry and short with them and just trying to get things cleaned and everyone in clothes that are appropriate, while wondering if you’re really upset because they’re being naughty or if it’s because you didn’t plan the morning out as well as you could have. Add a little guilt, and well, we’ve just summed up motherhood.

Anyway, we got there in a flurry and we were 2 minutes late (and the last few classes we have been so early no one was there, but this day everyone was there, including other people’s moms and grandmothers, sisters, brothers, cousins). I stripped off Helena’s outer clothes and raced, sweating, in full view of all the other parents, to get her ballet shoes on and send her out to the middle of the room to dance.

Lilly was a mess, already annoyed at the morning routine, and wanted to join the girls. But I got some dirty looks from other parents, interpreted them to mean “I paid for this class, lady,” and took her out into the other room. So I was missing it. And a friend of mine had her big kids there and they “babysat” Lilly for a second, but soon she was back inside the ballet studio, begging and yelling to be a part of the scene.

It was lucky that, almost at the very end of the class, I snapped this photo. Just looking at the viewfinder suddenly put me right into my place. I relaxed. I took a deep breath. I actually looked my mother in the eye, who had come to see the recital. And I remembered that they’re kids. Don’t worry so much. Take a look at these little girls–the big one dancing towards me, hair flapping, and the little one just admiring absolutely everything that her sister does. Say a little prayer of thanks and move on. It’s gonna be a good day.

And it was.

Ballet class

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