Oh, the difference a year makes. Last winter Em made her debut as a ballerina on the big stage and to be honest, she wasn’t ready. I knew it, she knew it, and yet, I pushed her because she enjoyed going to the classes and loves to dance and dress up. I thought she was ready for the spotlight but it was a little too bright there for my girl. So we tried some other activities, gave her some time, and this year, she is ready.
There was really no stopping her once we went to see The Nutcracker and she realized that if she wanted to be one of those beautiful girls on stage one day, she would have to practice first. Suddenly she didn’t need encouragement. All she needed was a leotard, a dance skirt, and some sparkly leg warmers, and she transformed into a girl with a bit more confidence who was ready to listen and learn. And twirl, of course.
She takes classes at Lebanon Ballet School and loves it. She loves picking out what she’s going to wear, she loves her teacher and her classmates, but most of all, she loves anything to do with real ballet. We look at the posters for past shows and her teacher even lets her borrow some of her own books with the stories of Coppélia and Twelve Dancing Princesses to bring home, which she treats like gold.
I know that keeping her home with me this year was the right decision. In these past four months she has grown into such a more self-assured, confident little lady. She looks forward to her gymnastics and ballet and occasional art or music class. She tends to cling a bit more to the teachers and is still shy around her peers, but over time she warms up.
I am so grateful that the choices we have made as parents seem to have been for the best. All I can hope for is to do what will make my children happy and vibrant, and to let them grow at their own pace.
I’m so happy for my Em, coming into her own at last.