Last week, I found myself telling my daughter that while blush, eye shadow, mascara, and lip stick were all ok, I was drawing the line at eye liner. Then I made her blot. How did we get here? Two words: dance recital.
At five, this was her first year in dance, putting her a bit behind the curve in terms of joining. My thought process was that I have the next two decades to pay for activities, why start earlier than necessary? She smiled throughout her entire first class. Often, the leotard and tights would be worn for the rest of the day, so happy was she to even have them on. With her first recital around the corner, she was adamant that she had to grow her hair long so that it could be put into the required bun. As she informed me of this a mere week beforehand, and her hair is currently bobbed at her ears, this presented a problem. Also a problem? The full face she needed to wear onstage, not one item of which I owned. Thankfully, my SILs came through and gave their niece all the makeup she required in a cute little leopard-print bag, which my daughter openly covets.
On picture day, I took her to a local kiddie salon to get her hair done. If I did to her what they did to her, she would have screamed to the high heavens and police would have been called on suspicions of child endangerment. But, no, a total stranger in an apron pulled, sprayed, pinned, and glued her hair into the smallest, tightest bun ever and all she could do was smile.
I was lucky enough to skip the dress rehearsal due to a very kind friend, but was unable to skip out on full hair and makeup. This time, I did it myself and liberally applied half a can of spray to my child’s head while using enough pins to secure an entire Rockette’s worth of buns. I apologize to anyone in my immediate area who suffered extraordinary sunburn this past weekend because I most definitely put a hole in the ozone layer. I wonder if you can name them, like stars?
Finally, finally, dance day arrived. Early. Very early. Breakfast, hair salon (this time they used so much product I thought for sure she’d have that bun for life), snack, makeup, costume, and off she went. No nerves, not even the idea of stage fright passed through her head. And let me tell you, she was a star. They all were. Cute as buttons, twirling here, pointing there, and if it wasn’t the smoothest or most professional performance I’d ever seen, they were five. They didn’t have to be professional, just adorable.
Of course, she is already asking when she can start lessons again and has barely taken off her costume. And though we said we wouldn’t, we already bought a DVD of the performance, took dozens of pictures, and posted on FB about it. I’m sure, once that video arrives, it will get watched on every rainy day, overly sunny day, or just days ending in “y”. And that’s what it’s all about right? At this age, it isn’t a career, a scholarship chance, or even exercise. For her, it’s just about the joy of dancing and for me, the joy of watching her. And though I had to point out which one she was for my father, and my mother missed her entirely during the closing bow, I could spot her in an instant – because she was the only one without eye liner.