Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nutcracker Nostalgia

Today I took my daughters to The Nutcracker ballet.  It was the first time in five years that Caroline was part of the audience rather than dancing on stage, and I think it was just as nostalgic for her as it was for me.  I couldn't believe that it was just five years ago when she was one of the little buffoons finding her way out of that immense skirt . . . and those party girl ringlets, night after night struggling to get her hair to curl just right before a performance . . . and her soldier bun that was practically impossible to get on top of her head.  I was awash with memories of bobby-pins, make-up, helping backstage, and hours in the car driving to and from rehearsals.

Caroline decided last month to hang up her pointe shoes for good and focus entirely on tennis.  It was a difficult decision after so many years of dance, but we both felt it was the right thing to do.  However, she struggled today after watching her friends perform and continue to excel in ballet.  Last week I found myself becoming a little emotional while organizing a box filled with leotards, tights, and ballet slippers that will no longer be worn.  Sophie declared last year after her ballet recital that "dance just isn't for me," and Liza has absolutely no interest.  I thought just maybe after watching the performance this afternoon, Liza just might want to dance after all, but nope, she's happy playing soccer and skiing.

I honestly can't believe this phase of motherhood is over . . . hundreds of visits to the dance store for tights, shoes, and leotards; years of attending annual spring recitals; and hours spent fixing tight buns in my daughters' hair . . . these are no longer part of my life.

The good news is that my daughters and I will always enjoy the beauty of a ballet performance together, without the headache of helping prepare one of them to perform :-).

No comments: