After being sick all week and missing both her classes, yesterday R woke up feeling well enough to go to her recital rehearsal. She was excited to finally be able to dance, and was even more excited that I was going to curl her hair and put makeup on her again. She loves it when I curl her hair!
Per usual I know what time something starts, and then somehow wind up thinking it's an hour earlier, so we got to the rehearsal location an hour early, just as the rehearsal for the first show was wrapping up. They actually let us sit in the audience and watch and I thought it'd be good for R to see the other girls on stage. As the first group left I saw one of the mom's from one of R's classes and she asked me if I was a parent helper. I said no and she said that was probably a good thing because the girls who were cry-prone did much better when their mothers left (yes, R is known for being prone to meltdowns, haha.)
But when the parent helper for R's group arrived (my friend Aimee) we were told that the other parent helper had to pull out of the show completely, which I thought was perfect for me. There were only four little girls in our group so it wasn't unmanageable, and we held their attention through the rehearsal. When it was time to lead them backstage I wasn't nervous at all. R seemed excited and very eager to dance. When they turned the lights down for the intro of the group in front of theirs, one of the little girls said she was scared. R went over to her, gave her a big hug and said, "Don't be scared! There are no monsters, I will protect you!" It was so sweet I almost cried.
And then I did have to cry. Because when it was R's turn to go out on stage she FLIPPED. Crying, screaming, falling, flailing, it was a disaster. Both R's dance teachers (bless their hearts) tried to help her out and hold her, and they even let me come out with her but R was not having it. And something inside me just broke. When we got the girls offstage I decided R and I needed to leave right away, although everyone else was staying to practice bows. I felt awful leaving Aimee on her own, but with just three girls I thought she'd be ok. I needed to get somewhere alone to cry!
And cry, and cry, and cry I did. I couldn't believe I was having my heart broken again by all this nonsense. After the photoshoot disaster I had calmed myself saying that she'd be fine when it was actually time to dance. She LOVES dancing dammit. Let's just say last night I had a meltdown that required a mini-intervention of sorts. Good grief.
I figured we'd just pull her from the recital. As much as I wanted R to dance I knew she wouldn't, and I didn't want to ruin the recital for the rest of the company. Her studio is on the small side and they work their butts off throwing this. Nobody needed the extra stress. N felt otherwise. He thought that maybe she'd be better today and that we should chance it. We've already put so much into this- and R has been practicing this dance for 9 months now!
It was around noon (and check in was at 12:45) and we were still going back and forth on whether we'd take her. I said stay, then I said go, then I said go and I'd stay home, and then I said to hell with it let's just all go and see if she'll do it. I decided that this time I'd stay in the audience and see if the advice of the other mom rang true.
|We had even bought custom, collectors tickets!|
Aimee was awesome and said she thought R should try again, even though she'd have to be in charge of wrangling her. What a brave soul! I sat in the audience and just about made myself sick with anxiety. I kept starting to cry! Yes, my name is Lauren and I'm a mess and a half I acknowledge that. Anyway, R's dance was the 13th one so I had awhile to wait. I felt sicker and sicker as her dance came closer, and when the act before hers came on I stuffed my purse under my chair and made sure I could see where the steps to the stage were so I coupdate swoop in if she had a meltdown.
Finally it was time for her act to come on and I couldn't breathe. I saw their dance teacher leading the little girls out on stage, and R was smiling from ear to ear. I almost fell over dead with shock. When the music started she started doing her little dance perfectly, she was one of the best ones out there! The entire time I was crying tears of relief and happiness. I couldn't believe things were actually going well. It felt so good to have been prepared for the worst and then seen the best!
She had done it, she had done it, she had done it! And hopefully I'll be able to show you all a video of the dance once we receive the professional DVD. When it was time to come out for bows she did have a little bit of a meltdown. She covered her eyes and made Aimee carry her, but at that time it was actually kind of cute. And more importantly it only lasted for a minute or so.
She was a total grump when I grabbed her after the show and tried to take a picture. But at that time I didn't really care. Can you believe how cute those costumes are though?!
I can hardly express my feelings of relief right now and the complicated emotions I've been going through. This has been a lot more about me than it has been about R (not that I've been showing that to her!) and in the end I would have been proud regardless of what happened- she is 3 and all of this is a lot for someone her age. It's just another down and up on this crazy rollercoaster of parenthood.
And today everything went right.