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my heart

I fully realize this picture is fuzzy but there is something ethereal about & it is very reminiscent of how the weekend felt.

The house lights went down & I was overcome with emotion.I sat there, my 3 year old to my right and her father on the other side of her.We held our breaths.Tchaikovsky started to swell from the orchestra pit and my heart began to swell with pride, as my eyes swelled with tears in anticipation of my little girl’s debut performance on the stage as a ballerina.

We know the story of the Nutcracker well.We’ve been reading it to Bella since she was 3, the year that she started taking ballet.It is a big part of our holiday tradition.This year was different, this year it wasn’t just about sitting in the audience and basking in the holiday spirit .This year was momentous.This year, the Nutcracker was one of my Bella’s milestones; like first steps, first words, first day of school. Like so many before it and so many that are yet to come, it is that moment that parents find themselves reluctantly and pridefully letting go…just a little, just enough to give you a great big lump in your heart.

So, there I sat with my great big giant lump in my heart, trying to hold it together.Waiting, hoping, not breathing in anticipation of the end of the first act;the moment that my little snowflake would enter stage left. Then it happened, there she was with her white leotard and tutu, wrapped in the glow of the stage light, floating gracefully above the floor like a vision in tulle loveliness. I realize that everyone else was focusing their attentions on the “big” snowflakes ( the more seasoned ballerinas) but my every attention was devoted solely to my little snowflake.Every plies, leap, pirouette that she did, I watched her face to see that she was enjoying every moment of it.After all, isn’t that what we live for..those moments of sheer happiness in our child’s face. The 5 minutes that she was on stage felt like a lifetime, as I sat there holding my breath and trying to suppress the lump in my heart. Then, it was over. Four months of rehearsals, weeks of anticipation, countless dollars and a few moments of graceful beauty under falling snow; priceless!

We met her backstage with roses, gifts, and enough praise to last her a lifetime but no words could amply convey the pride I felt in my heart. Family and friends came from all over to see our little girl take the stage.I just tried not to cry…too much.I held it together pretty well until the ride home from the theater and then the lump in my heart gave way and burst, overflowing and escaping through my eyes. There I sat, silently, ugly crying feeling the pride and momentum of what had just transpired.The Big Guy sat next to me, pretending not to notice how swept away I was by this occasion. He’s learned after 13 years to just be, any interaction or conversation can induce hysterics;hyperventilating, noisy, body shaking ugly crying.

It was a moment she will never forget and neither will the Big Guy and I. It was the first moment our little girl became a real ballerina. It is emblazoned in my mind like the image on my digital camera with the waltz of the snowflakes accompanying it on a never ending loop. What is a moment of overwhelming pride that you have felt for your child? How did you handle the lump in your heart?

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Just going through old photos, my girls are sleeping, and it just reminds me that taking time to enjoy my girls is what really makes me happy. They will only be this age for a little while, I know that. I need to remember that. This is my reminder. They are so amazing and I am so lucky and blessed to be their Mommy! They are why I am who I am. They have made my life everything, I never knew, I always wanted. Happiness truly is the smile of your child, the sound of their laughter,  their cuddles and snuggles.It is priceless.

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