Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Nutcracker's Sweet

My little girl is growing up.

So, so very fast.  When I think about the fact that she's almost five; that we've already seen her through nearly 1/4 of the time we'll have raising her... I just treasure the wonderful, joyful little lady she's becoming.

And recently, she proved it again with a pretty major milestone: her first ballet recital!

She has been asking to take ballet for at least a year.  We even threw her a ballet-themed fourth birthday party, because she's just been obsessed with dance.  She has been taking gymnastics for ages, but we knew that this fall was the time to jump on the dance train.  

And, seriously?  She does it beautifully.  Not that she's a prodigy by any stretch, but she does exhibit much more grace than I had imagined she'd be capable of, given what happens to her body if you've ever watched her run.  It's not a bad thing; coordination just isn't one of her strengths.  At nearly five, she can't catch, throw, kick or otherwise manipulate a ball with any grace, but the kid can sure dance!

The recital was adorable.  We were lucky, because even though he had to work, Casey took some time off in the middle of the day to meet us at the high school so he could see her perform.  The kids danced to this song, Holidays at Home, and she was so over the moon excited because her costume was pink.  Not just pink, guys.  Her favorite color - pink!

The cherry on this ice cream sundae was definitely little brother's response when he spotted her on stage.  It was hilarious, actually.  When the curtains opened, Logan, who was standing up in Daddy's lap exclaimed, "THERE'S LEAH!  I SEE HER!  HI, LEAH!" in his cute little voice that echoed through the otherwise quiet auditorium.  She couldn't see him, but we could clearly see her big grin and little wave while the other audience members had a chuckle.  

And, naturally, I couldn't have been more proud if she'd just been elected president.  In fact, I didn't make it all the way through the performance before the tears hit me.  I know it sounds cheesey (like you expected anything else from me?), but I just couldn't help myself.  I'm so in awe that we've made it to this point - the point where she's a real little person, who selects dance over gymnastics, who is smart and kind and brave enough to get up on a dark stage and perform in front of a crowd without hesitation.  It's amazing to me!  

Even seeing her name printed in the program was a WOW, I'm a mom! moment for me.  It seems like just yesterday that I was picking out that name just for her!  More than that, it seems just yesterday that it was me up there on stage - in a choir concert, in a band concert, a dance recital, a musical.  I lived out my young life on a stage, a field and in a pool... how did I so quickly trade places with my own mother, cheering on my daughter?!  I was overwhelmed with awe, pride and love.  She's a keeper, that kid of mine.

Time.  Holy moly, how I wish it would slow down.  

They were adorable.  And she was so very proud of herself.  I don't blame her; that feeling was mutual.

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