And the Band Marches on….

IMAG1682Today was the final ballet performance for my daughter. She has been taking ballet for the past 3 years, and tonight was the end. Next year she has decided she would like to try her hand at figure skating instead.

And while I know, logically, that she can easily go back to dancing if (and I suspect when) she misses it, I am sad about the end of this three year journey. But it struck me tonight, as I tucked away her ballet bag full of her little shoes, tights and body suits, that no matter if she goes back, a moment in her childhood has now come and gone. And I am struggling with it.

ballet frogShe started ballet at the tender age of just 3, and for her first performance was the cutest damn little frog you’ve ever seen. That year, the performance joy had nothing to do with skill (or very little anyways), and was all about adorable. Today, while she was still pretty cute, I was struck by how she is morphing into more beautiful than cute. How her dance skills really have improved.

But my sadness is more than about just dance being over (for now), but how it represents how quickly her childhood is passing. She starts grade 1 in the fall, and recently, she informed me “Mom, I think I’m ready for full days”. And she is. But I’m not sure I am. Gone will be the mother-daughter afternoons, the walks home at lunch time with her little hand in mine. All too quickly, she won’t want to hold my hand.

And yes, I struggled with this with my son, now 8, as well. But he was my first, and so I knew I still had another to enjoy those moments with. My daughter is my last. I know 2 children is right for our family, but when she asked me tonight why we won’t have another baby – and I gave her the typical answer of “we’re happy with the family we have, etc. etc.”, my heart and yes, my womb, both clenched a little bit with sadness.

My time of having very young children is coming to a close. I know I still have a few years, but I see the growing up happening so quickly, and so I grab these “little kid” moments when I can. Thankfully, tonight, as I tucked them into bed, after reading them stories, they both still wanted me to sing to them, tuck them in and hug and kiss them. And I treasure each and every bit of it.

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