September 21, 2013

Tiny Ballerina

I helped her pull her arms through the soft pink leotard with a little lump in my throat. The moment felt important. Soon after, she stood on our back patio, arm on her hip and as I clicked the button on my camera, I knew I was capturing so much more than a photo.
Liliana's first ballet class.
She has been waiting for this moment for over a year. I searched high and low until I could find a dance studio that had a weekend class for her age group. Most of them only offered classes on weekday evenings when i was not guaranteed to be off of work and, I wasn’t going to miss a single class.
If ever there was a reason to blog - to capture all the little moments - it’s the constant reminder that this stage - my tiny, pink-clad girl with her hair piled high on her head - will be gone before I’m even done soaking her in.

We arrived at the studio and Lily without missing a beat slipped into her tiny ballet slippers, and followed the little group of girls into the room where her dance class would take place. Only glancing back for a second to wave me on my way.
I peeked through the curtain, a smile on my face, as I watched her concentrate on her teacher’s directions. She skipped and hopped and shimmied and shuffled. She was so enthralled that she never looked up to wave at me - not once. She was having entirely too much fun.
Before I knew it my little ballerina was tip toeing out of class, hands raised above her head, glowing. Her first question: “Can I come back again?”  She has asked me multiple times since, how many days until ballet class again.
It’s too early to know if she will develop a passion for dance and if she doesn't that is fine too, but for now I will breath in every little moment of my tiny ballerina.

September 2, 2013

Preschool- she never looked back

Well we did it!! We made it through the first day of preschool, and when I say we, that is exactly what I mean. Watching your kids grow up is such a wonderful experience but boy is it an emotional roller coaster.

Liliana has always walked into any room as if she was meant to be there. Confident and wide open, unafraid of anything new.Watching the way she interacts with the world, even at this young age,  has proven to me that at our core most of us are who we are. As parents, we certainly have a lot of influence over some of our children’s manners and actions, but so much of what shapes our personalities is not trained or taught, it’s as innate to our being as having brown eyes or athletic ability. 

Last week, I walked Liliana up to her new classroom, She walked right in, said hello to her teachers and sat right down on the group rug with the other kids in her class, just like she had done it a hundred times before. She barely acknowledged my leaving and a twinge of bittersweet pain struck me as i marveled at the ease in which she adjusts to new environments. For all that confidence, sometimes I wish she’d need me just a little more. I lingered in the doorway hoping she’d look up at me before we left.

It’s so curious to me, how much my heart has see-sawed back and forth as I watch Liliana enter this new environment. How I wish my daughter, just every now and then, would look back one last time.

Liliana started preschool last week, wearing a Cinderella book bag that was nearly the same size of her little body. No tears were shed. Art projects were sent home and goldfish crackers were consumed. She took another step towards childhood and away from babyhood. I waved goodbye. She never looked back.

After I dropped her off on her first day, I sat in my car for a few minutes, sorting out the jumble of sadness and pride that had settled down on me. It’s a combination of emotions that becomes more familiar with each year that passes.

But what a beautiful thing to watch unfold- My beautiful little girl, a little more each day, becoming the unique person she is meant to be.
Lily started preschool in Mrs. Websters class rm 12 on 8/29/13
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