15 June, 2007

Dancing with Butterflies

"She has beautiful feet and legs" the instructor tells me. "She is just... not yet mature enough to grasp how beautiful she is when she dances and all that she can do."

The Diva is 7.

She is a precocious only child with a heart of gold and an outgoing spirit. She is amazingly active, outgoing, and full of laughter and a love for all that is living.
A former dancer tells me that she was just like the Diva when she was younger - couldn't sit still, full of energy, "immature" when it came to standing at a bar for an hour doing the same thing over and over again. Ballet was made for kids like this.

The Diva is light on her feet. She skips, runs, floats, flitters, and flies through the air. And when she walks, she holds tightly to my hand, as if I am the thing that grounds her.

She is immature in spurts - at restaurants when everyone wants to sit and talk and at ballet when she is supposed to be focused. At school she is the picture perfect, highly motivated, student. In many ways, she is more mature than her peers - and yet she isn't.

I hear the instructor. I understand everything that she is saying, and yet, I know that my daughter will be 7 just once. Once in her life she will be a child - able to dance down sidewalks, race imaginary friends, take the time to play on rocks or balance on short walls. Right now she has the time, and the desire, to inspect the ants as they scurry on the ground and examine a patch of clover for that one with the four leaves.

She counts the years until she is an adult, able to ride a motorcycle (with ballet bag over her shoulder, quite the image) and do the things adults do.

I ask her to stop thinking about how long until she is an adult and concentrate on being a kid. She has (most probably) decades to be an adult while the number of years she has to be a kid are finite.

I thought about what the instructor said. The Diva has a future in dance. We are all waiting for her to figure out just how beautiful she can be as a dancer. However, while we are waiting for her talent and love of ballet to blossom into full maturity, I am perfectly happy letting her be a kid.

Thus I smile and laugh at her silly jokes, am thrilled when she scampers off to check something out, and I bite my lip when she attempts to scale or climb everything whether inside or out. She celebrates life as only a child in love with life can.


Steph said...

What an amazingly beautiful tribute to your daughter. I hope she gets to read this one day and see how your love for her shines through those words.

Willow said...

Your daughter is one lucky little girl, to have a mother who loves her so much. This is a truly beautiful post.

You are right we only get to be a kid for finite years. Though there are some adults who still try to get away with it:)

The Exception said...

Steph - Thanks. It is easy to write about her. She amazes me every day.

Willow - Thanks to you too. It seems we spend our youth anticipating being an adult and our adulthood wanting to play like we were still kids.

ruby said...

That was beautiful, really sweet. She's a lucky girl! I hope she enjoys her childhood and has fantastic experiences and memories that mold her into a wonderful adult.

TxGambit said...

So sweeeet! They are only young for just a little while and only once.

I try to remind myself of that.

cathouse teri said...

A beautiful tribute!

Have the T-Shirt said...

Beautiful post. The great thing about having a child so full of life and wonder is that it reminds us to live as they do. :)

cathouse teri said...

Happy Father's Day, hun! *mwah*

My daughter calls me and gives me the father's day greeting. She feels like I deserve the credit. I'm not sure I do. In fact, I've failed in just about every way a parent can. But it's sweet that she thinks I'm wonderful. That really is all that matters, in the end of it all.

JustRun said...

Lovely post! It's refreshing to hear how grounded you are with her- she will thank you later, I know.

Scorpy said...

I kept seeing my daughters all the time i read this....it must be a parent thing :) She sounds adorable and full of life.

The Exception said...

Ruby - I hope that she will always have the love of life that she has now.
TX - Sometimes it is a bit hard to remember that she is only 7, but like you, I try!
T-Shirt - She does help me to remember to live and enjoy life. She keeps me young!
Teri - Happy Father's day to you too! That is nice that your daughter recognizes the effort that you made. I think our children are much more forgiving of us than we are ourselves. Your kids appear to appreciate all that you do.
Just Run - I ground her, but one day, when she fulfills her dreams - I will be soaring right along with her!
Scorpy - Thank heaven for little girls - what would parents like us do without them. ;)

Anonymous said...

It is so refreshing to read you WANT her to act 7! You're right - she has plenty of time to stand still at the barre when she is much older. Having been a dancer and a ballet teacher for most my life I rarely hear this from 'ballet moms'. I saw way too many little bun heads pushed to act older than they were and they burnt out long before they "made it". You are a smart mother. :)

The Exception said...

Desiree - I am just the mom - supporting her the best that I can. Kids are experiencing may too much pressure these days. I want her to love life and learning - I want her to be a kid! She dances for the love of dancing, not because it is my dream or goal or anything. It is all her.

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