The First of the Lasts

#SOL16 Day 20Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 5.11.16 PM

Today my daughter is competing in her last dance competition. As a senior in high school, I recognize this as the first of many lasts. I also know they have a different significance for me than they do for her.  She is excited for the ‘next steps’ and I am mourning the loss of my ‘baby’.  I had planned to post this after her competition, but considering it will conclude late this evening and be followed by a 2 1/2 hour drive home, I didn’t want to miss my SLICE for today.

When she takes the stage I am hoping I can keep the tears from obscuring my view. I want to see every move choreographed by her wonderful teacher.  I can’t fully appreciate her technique the way the judges will, but I want to embrace every emotion her moves evoke. I think back to her first entrance to the stage when she was four.  Decked out in blue tulle frock with black patent leather capezios, she tapped her tiny toes  like a pony pawing the earth-frisky and fancy free. I couldn’t imagine being prouder.  Silly me.

Now poised and practiced, she’ll again step onto that stage as my little babe.  Yet somehow she’s morphed into this beautiful young woman who is more graceful than I could ever hope to be.  She’ll face her fears and doubts to embody her dance.  I won’t care how the judges score her.  It will be as meaningless as a grade is to a composed story.  It has nothing to do with her experience, or my experience, as she moves across the floor and takes her final bow.  All I hope is that I don’t let the gravity of these “lasts” impinge on my enjoyment of the “now”.  Perhaps I’ll silently chant her name as a centering prayer and hold that in my heart as her performance number nears. That is surely a mantra that holds meaning for me…Bailey…BaileyBailey..

MEB_1311 - Version 2Bravo, dear Bailey.  Break a leg. I love you!

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “The First of the Lasts

  1. As a mom of two in college and a high school senior, I can definitely relate. Our h.s. senior has been involved in theater since she was very young so yes, we re also experiencing many lasts. I loved this analogy, ” It will be as meaningless as a grade is to a composed story.” Enjoy all the lasts but also the firsts!

  2. Thanks for the reminder as mom of younger children to be present. Bailey is lucky to have such a caring mom who wants success even though it is hard to let go.

  3. This is perfect! I love this line, “She is excited for the ‘next steps’ and I am mourning the loss of my ‘baby’.” It perfectly explains the difference in views between mother and child.
    Your love for her is obvious through your words:
    “Now poised and practiced, she’ll again step onto that stage as my little babe. Yet somehow she’s morphed into this beautiful young woman who is more graceful than I could ever hope to be. She’ll face her fears and doubts to embody her dance. ”
    I hope that she reads this.

  4. Trust me, Paula, senior year only leads to many touching events…college graduation, first job, wedding, babies, first home. The list goes on. These poignant moments of our life are treasures that affirm our love and commitment to our children. Without supportive parents, children never enjoy moments like this. Savor it and give yourself a pat on the back.

  5. Paula – So lovely, this reflection on a “last time.” Love the dscussion of how graes can hold little meaning and the reminder to focus on the here and now – to be present to enjoy THIS moment. So important!

    I do not have children of my own, but I am very close to my beautiful goddaughters (twins) and their younger sister. The twins will be twenty-six this summer. I am remembering college graduations, a wedding, their excitement when they were hired and joined the work force. So many last times and so many first times to come.

    I am glad you decided to post before the competition. I think I will return to my notebook after I post this reply and start to write. Thank you!

  6. I hate the lasts…but then there are still many firsts…last year was the last of elementary for my girl…she is in her 8th year of dance though and loves it…and I hope that always lasts.

  7. I have never been the mother in this story, but I have been the daughter. She will always know how much her momma loved her from moments like this!

  8. This was a beautiful and heartfelt post. My niece was a dancer, and I remember these “lasts” with her. Now my own kids are small and we have been doing “firsts”…but I know “lasts” will be here soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s