Friday, January 11, 2013

I Hope You Dance

My man worked from home to insure our being on time, and we were, all six of us. The little girls were dressed--down to their fleece-lined boots--in street clothes, and I reminded them on the way into the studio: "You're only going to watch, this time, not dance."

But after we introduced ourselves, the teacher invited the girls to dance, after all. "I didn't bring any special clothes for them," I said.

"That's ok," she said, smiling wide. "They're fine. Their shoes are fine," and in a flash, the girls were ahead of her, gone behind the curtain. "I'll keep it pushed to the side a little," she called over her shoulder, "so you can peek in on them."

The music started, and Clementine tried to follow along from the start. Charleigh, though, stood perfectly still, taking in everything through her wide, gray eyes. I recognized and felt, to my very bones, the anxiety in her pale, pixie face. I could hardly tear myself from the curtain, but I was afraid that--if she saw me--she would tear herself from her uncomfortable spot on the floor and run to me.


Over and over, I spied on Charleigh and found her yet frozen in place. "Maybe she's not ready," I whispered to Jim. "Maybe she's too young."

Funny how--in moments like that--a mommy remembers every time she's been afraid to try; or has tried and been less than the best; or has tried and failed, utterly. How she holds her breath, takes her hand and presses into that spot just above her heart, and teeters (wanting to spare her wide-eyed darling every sort of disappointment) on the cold, sharp edge of tension.

She teeters, but, in the end, she waits.

And thank goodness, because--long before the music stops--the toe of her darling is apt to start tapping: the eyes shining, the lips upturning. Soon and very soon, her red-headed sprite might just hug her tighter than tight and whisper in her ear: "Mama, Ima be a ballerina."

In which case--even as the same words roll off her tongue--a mommy will remember all the times her parents looked her straight on and said, with utter confidence: "Yes. Of course you will."


13 comments:

  1. I love dancing! I love how it expresses our hearts through the physical... I can totally see how your girls became that expression. What fun.

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  2. Amen. What words of grace, calling things that are not as though they were -- "yes, of course you will."
    Brandee, this is just perfect. What a gift. Thank you.

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  3. Oh, thank you for letting it come to her and not forcing it or rescuing. What a wonderful mama you are. This is for you, The Tragedy of First Position. I adore this teacher. :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdylQeg5B9I

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    1. Oh my word. That tiny dancer is precious!

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  4. oh gosh, I could just picture the sceene of you all anxious about your babes and how they are feeling, that feeling! We so many times put our 'past' experiences on to our kids. And it is also so refreshing when their experience heals our past experience. Don't you just love those babies to the moon and back? Love you Brandee.

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    1. So hard to remember that they're not us, isn't it? I pray for my kids to be more and better than I am. Love YOU, Marlece!

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  5. where did you enroll them? Kelly took years and years............ they will love it! :) how cool! love you , love them

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  6. Gasp! This was beautiful, and it made me cry!!

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  7. Hi Brandee
    When I look at Charleigh, I am sure you have robbed heaven of a little angel. Yes, I know what it feels like wanting to save our precious ones from all life's hurts. Yet, through the hard, difficult things they learn! Difficult for a mom to grasp though, don't you think! Nice meeting you at Emilie's! She is going to be a pretty ballerina!
    Hugs to you XX
    Mia

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  8. oh my goodness. this nearly made me cry. it reminds me of God watching us from behind the curtain of heaven, and how delighted he is to see us begin to respond to his love songs...

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