Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Little Ballerina Girl


There are certain first moments I’m going to remember about my daughter forever: the day she was born in a tub, her first word (which by the way was “dada”), the day she took her first real walking steps, the first birthday party with the Elvis impersonator, the first day of preschool, and now I can add her first ever ballet recital to the list.

A full 3 and a half hour extravaganza (not including intermission.)

I can’t honestly think of another moment that I was more anxious about. Well except maybe her actual birth, and that late-to-the party Elvis impersonator comes to mind too.
While waiting and anticipating her moment on stage, there was plenty of time to reflect on my little girl who was just a baby not so long ago. Thinking about how weird it was that she’s nearly 4 and how quick she’s growing up. Wondering if she’s paid attention in ballet this past year - especially the last 4 months dancing to the same routine. Hoping that she did her best and wasn’t that ‘one’ ballerina that I’ve heard so much about that gets stage-fright and runs off stage crying.
A million other things were running through my mind by the 3rd hour including why they still teach kids “Tap”, what college or preferably Art School she'll end up going to, and why that Lionel Richie song still haunts me at the most awkward times.

When the curtain closed on the hip-hop kids wearing bedazzled MC hammer clothes and opened for the 92nd time, the noise of “oohs” and “ahh’s” filled the auditorium and I found myself standing up nearly yelling “that’s ma’ little ballerina girl!” clapping and hooting like she just scored a basketball home run, goalie, Stanley steamer (or whatever it is they call it these days.)
I guess that’s what it feels like to be a proud parent – in a Tony Danza sort of way.

My wife, of course, sat beside me with a huge smile and tears. My eyes watered a little, just because I was laughing at how cute she looked, and how the short performance looked more like a routine out of the Muppet show -- funny little legs moving around unsynchronized; each ballerina looking at each other not entirely sure of what to do next, frilly little costumes bumping into each other.
At the end of the routine they all gave their little bows. The same bow she’s been practicing for weeks and “had to show me” once more to make sure it was perfect before she kissed me, yelled “bye Dad!” and ran backstage.

Then that crazy Lionel Richie song popped in my head once more.

13 comments:

furiousBall said...

how sweet. my little girl is hankering for some ballet action...

that might be the first time the words "hankering" and "ballet action" have ever been together in a sentence.

mrssoup said...

Oh that is too sweet. How exciting for all of you! I cannot wait until my daughter gets old enough to take dance!

Mac and Cheese said...

Awwww, that's sweet. And Lionel really should learn his place.

Amrita said...

Ooohhhh this is sooooo sweet. Your baby looks so cute

painted maypole said...

an appropriate song... she truly is lovely...

cryngfreeman said...

Congrats and your sweet, memorable, perfect moment. I hope your wife took video or lots of pictures. :)

Artist Unplugged said...

Ahhh, what an adorable ballerina. I recall VolleyGirl's first recital when she was 3. Upon finishing her makeup, she looked and started crying, "I didn't want it like that!" Wow, I was unaware of her makeup training on the sly....then she balked, wouldn't go on the stage at rehearsal but promised she would the next day at recital.....left me a nervous frazzle fearing she WOULD be the girl standing there crying. But, she did it! She repeated the same routine the next year, danced through 6th grade then quit to just do sports. I do know your proud/nervous feeling....betcha got loads of photos and hopefully a video! You've just entered the life of dance dad...

JennyMac said...

Precious...and you tell a great story.

nonlineargirl said...

There is something so charming about the unsynchronized dance routine (or should tat be de-synchronized?)

Big Robby said...

Touching scene you portrayed there. If the years are flying by for you as they are for me, it seems such tragic irony, the act of fatherhood being both joyous and saddening at the same time.

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The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh she is so cute! I do remember every stage performance of my niece, regardless how good/bad they were.

Beverly said...

Beautiful picture! My oldest daughter is in ballet, and "hair buns" is a category I tag on my blog. She has a lot of hair.