Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Final Recital

Maija has been taking dance lessons at the same studio since she was four years old, which was long enough ago that I don't even have any digital photos of those first few years (way back then we used this nifty little stuff called film). I can still remember her first recital very clearly. She wore head to toe pink and a shy smile to match, but watching her up on that stage you could see her confidence starting to grow under all those spotlights. And through the years that confidence has continued to grow with the help of her ballet slippers and tap shoes.

We were sad to learn recently that the studio is closing and this year's recital would be the last. Well ok, I was a little sad but Maija was sort of devastated and at first I thought that she was possibly over reacting (wonder who she gets that from) until I remembered that this place has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. There will be a new studio and new lessons in her future, but it's still hard to close a chapter even with the promise of a new one on the horizon.

Last night we gently closed the pages with one final recital.

And it was amazing. You should have seen her. The ballet number was beautiful and sweet, but the tap routine was, this girl loves her tap shoes. She might not like me saying this, but at one point in the routine she actually fell, as in flat on her face. Fell as in I actually caught my breath in my chest a little, nearly dropped my camera and fought the urge to jump up and run onto the stage. But just as quickly as she fell she found her feet again and with a brilliant smile (and a bit of laughter) she finished the dance as if nothing had happened. Remember the shy four year old? Yeah, well she's long gone and in her shoes stands a poised and confident young lady who is up for the challenge of just about anything, because not everyone can fall flat on their face and recover so gracefully.

The recital was lovely. She performed in three numbers total, ballet, tap and jazz, and while they were wonderful, it's the fall that I'm going to remember because it led to the whole picking herself back up part and that's the part that brought joy to my heart. Once again she is the teacher and I am the student and I am mesmerized as always. She is mine and I can hardly believe it. She was the first one to show me what being a mother feels like, the first one to show me what that love could do to you. She is mine and I am eternally grateful.

She is also ours and I am thankful for that as well. She wouldn't be who she is without the solid love and support that we have given her over the years. All of us.

So there you have it the final pages of this chapter. We're already looking at new studios so I'm sure that there will be more tap shoes and jazz hands to come.

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