Confessions of a Dance Recital Mom

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dance recitalA few weeks ago I found myself sitting dutifully at the required parent’s meeting at my daughter’s dance studio. The owner carefully outlined the procedures and routines for the upcoming dance recital.

I held a six-page packet of important recital papers in my hand with careful notes jotted in the margins. I hoped the notes would help me remember all the things I’m going to have to remember to get my dance-enthusiast daughter to all the right places at all the right times wearing all the right things.

As the meeting was winding down – while I was busy adding calendar reminders to my phone and doing mental math to calculate the cost of all of the required recital items – the owner threw out one last tidbit of information. “Oh, don’t forget to order flowers for your dancer!”

“Yes, I need to order flowers for my daughter,” I thought as I added that task to my notes. The words were barely on paper before I stopped abruptly and wondered aloud “wait, why does she get flowers?”

I signed her up for dance and made sure she would be in the same class as her best friend.

I paid for her tuition every single month. To say nothing of the tights, shoes, costumes, and practice leotards I’ve purchased.

I get her to practice on time – or very close to on time – every week, even though it means leaving work in an absolute panic on Thursdays.

I’m the one who keeps track of the important dates. I hand washes the twelve dollar tights, coordinate the performance schedule, buy the exact shades of required recital makeup, and wrangle my youngest son in the waiting room as she practices.

I’m the one who runs to three different stores to find bobby pins and hair bands specifically colored for her beautiful blonde hair. And I make sure I get enough pictures of her in her adorable recital costume to share with friends and family who live too far away to experience the event in person.

Frankly, I want flowers. I think I deserve them.

I’ve been working really hard.

Sure, she’s been working hard too and she’s a great little dancer. But there are few things in life I couldn’t be successful at if obstacles were removed from my path.

Speaking Mandarin?

Underwater welding?

Professional bed making?

I could probably get pretty decent at any one of those things if somebody found a class designed for people at my particular skill level, drove me to said class weekly, paid all my expenses, provided me with the necessary supplies, and made sure I had a healthy dinner and early bedtime after each practice.

So this year I’m buying myself flowers.

If you have a tiny dancer, I say you should do the same. Then grab flowers for the underpaid teachers and parent volunteers who work tirelessly to bring the dance recital to life.

When you’re at the recital, admiring the colorful outfits and noting your child’s improvement, know I’m right there with you.

Thanking dance for teaching my daughter discipline and focus, building up her self esteem, and improving her physical health. And, quite possibly, buying a bouquet of flowers in the lobby just for herself.

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