Monday, June 24, 2013

Maude goes to a Dance Recital

So many of my readers (the ones not related to me, all five of you!) have no idea what I was/am like in "real life", in particular as a youngun.  Here's a short description: tall, lanky, thin, goofy, absolutely no coordination whatsoever.

Graceful and athletic were never words you could use to describe me.  Funny?  Hellz yeah, but gifted in the art of making my body function as a unit?  Nope.  Not. Even. Close.

So fast forward a good 30 some odd years to when my baby girl started asking me to put her in dance class. Before we moved to the greater Portland area, I had the perfect excuse.

In a small, remote town in north Idaho I could get her into a Gun Safety easier than finding a dance class.  There weren't a lot of options.  That said, I did my due diligence and I called one studio ONE TIME, and never got a call back. THANK GOD.

I deftly avoided enrolling her for another two years after arriving in Oregon before I had to relent and sign her up for a jazz dance class.  The only reason I even considered it was having met the teacher and also seeing the end of the year recital in which all the dancers were dressed age appropriately (so you know, not like budding strippers which is what I remember most recitals to be) and all the dances were also VERY appropriate, no whoreish grinding moves either.  These are, after all, little girls.

Against every fiber of my being that SCREAMED not to do it, I signed my sweet girl up for a once a week jazz class.Under no circumstances did I want to be the mom of "that kid" that went the wrong direction in the recital, didn't know the moves and for the love of all that's good and holy, ran off the stage crying.

Not that I ever did the running off the stage thing, but I'm pretty sure based on my current dancing abilities (that certainly show NO improvement after several glasses of hooch I might add) the other two are an accurate description of my performance in the two years I was subjected to tap.

At first I watched my baby girl's class a few times and it was clear to me that my resistance to her being in dance and then suddenly sucking it up and tossing her in was a very mean thing to do.

It was painful to watch.  Painful.  But, God Bless her, she TRIED.  And I mean she was INTENT on learning....I've NEVER seen her more focused on anything in my life, up until basketball season and/or torturing her brother, but that's another post for another day.

I finally quit watching her class, and would just ask her how things were going.  She assured me that she knew the dance, and I just figured we would see at the recital.

I feel like such a bad parent, well I know I am.  No one's perfect, but I feel like such a schmuck that I allowed my own insecurities to get in the way of my girl doing something she loves.  I projected my own fears and insecurities about my dancing ability and lack of coordination onto my daughter.  SHAME.

As you all know, Maude (my menopausal alter ego) is emotionally compromised as it is.  Tamoxifen Tami was way more fun, she didn't cry so much as she was just kind of bitchy.  Maude, however, is just an emotional train wreck.  I cry for no reason half the time.

So imagine my emotions during the RECITAL.  I cried so much that my sweet husband had to go get kleenex so I could blow my snout and for the love of God pull myself together after she left the stage.

I am so proud of my girl.  So, so proud.  She danced.  She really really danced.  Was she perfect?  I have no idea.  Do I care?  Not one single bit.  How did she compare to the other girls in her class?  Couldn't tell you.

All that fear, all that anxiety, all that worry was for nothing.  Here's what I didn't know about me and my baby girl dancing:  The only child I had eyes for was mine.  There could have been a thousand girls on stage and I wouldn't even notice them.  I'm sure it's the same for all of us parents.  We're not comparing notes, we're simply watching the angel we created.

I learned an important thing about myself, to never again put my fears and insecurities in front of allowing one of my beautiful children to try something new.  While both of them contain a variety of genetic similarities to me, that doesn't mean they can't do something I never could. 

She is so beautiful, graceful, and perfect in each and every way.  And she danced.  And I've never been more proud.

No comments: