Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tiny Dancer

As I say far too often, things here are busy. I don't say that as an excuse or to look for sympathy, but really just as a fact. Life is busy. That's ok makes you appreciate the quiet moments more.

One of things that has kept us busy has been Abby's involvement in dance. At the end of last year, I wasn't sure if she was going to want to dance again this year. When we were leaving her recital she told me, "I don't want to go to dance class anymore. I think I'll just go to the recital". :) I decided not to pester her about dance during the summer. It had been another busy year, and for the first time she had taken a full set of the basic classes, that is, ballet, tap and jazz. I think she was just tired. At the end of the summer the sign up notification came in the mail and I asked her what she wanted to do. Thankfully, she was ready to dive back in. Suddenly she wanted to sign up for everything...ballet, tap, jazz, acro, lyrical, hip hop, etc. Yikes! She was also excited because the studio director had decided to create a competitive jazz team for her age group and had asked her to participate. Then it turned out that two of her dance buddies were also going to be in her class at her new school, so it was dance all the time! :)

In the end, we decided to stick with the basic trio (ballet, tap, jazz) and we let her choose between Hip Hop and Lyrical. She decided on Hip Hop. Her flexibility needed a little work, so her teachers also recommended the Acro class. Since she had been doing gymnastics the year before, we decided to keep going along that line and do Acro too. Is your head spinning yet? Do I sound like a crazy dance mom yet? lol Before you think I have become a cast member of "Dance Moms", read on...

It's not that bad really. She is at the studio 3 nights a week, but two of them are only 45 minute classes. The Acro class has really helped her with her flexibility. Her confidence is way up, and she loves her teacher. The Hip Hop class is ok...I think the shine wore off after a bit but she still enjoys it. I think there is just too broad an age group and skill level and she gets a little lost sometimes. It's pretty fast paced.

Her trio classes are on Thursday, back to back. That works out to just over 2 hours. With her energy, she doesn't blink an eye and it gives me some time to work on some knitting or other portable craft project. Her Jazz team has been a blast; she feels so special being part of the Comp Team and there are only 6 girls in the class so they are all really close now. It's been a bit of an eye opener for me in terms of the competition world, but nothing bad. Really, it's more like, "How do these dancers do this for multiple numbers over the course of a weekend?!?!" I'm exhausted after only one number and I'm not dancing! I give them a lot of credit - these dancers are real athletes. The other parents have been really welcoming and really supportive of each other and the kids - they work really hard at making things as easy as possible for them. They coordinate food tables/potluck, help each other's kids with costumes & makeup, create all kinds of fun things to show team spirit and don't let drama play a part in it. The older dancers are assigned a younger dancer as a "buddy" and the buddies give each other little gifts or make signs to cheer each other on. It's a really great program.

So I thought I would share a few pictures of Abby from the past few months to give you a taste of what is happening:
When the competition season started, we had to add a little more "bling" to the costume. After all, it needs to shine on the stage! So the E-6000 tube and I became fast friends. Whew, fumes! :)

And of course their bears needed a little "bling" too! :)
In class and on competition days there is lots of rehearsing! The girls are dancing to "Mr. Sandman" and they start and end the number asleep with their bears. It's such a cute routine and really age appropriate.

Competition done, and smiles all around! The girls have placed 2nd in their age group at each of the three competitions they have attended - not bad for first timers! They have also taken a few special awards - way to go girls! This will also be their Jazz number for the recital in June and I know everyone will love it!

Last but not least, is her studio picture. This is her ballet costume and I just adore it. She loves it too, as she told me there is great "twirlability" with this dress. Her Hip Hop costume,'s not what I would have picked, but I'm not a fan of gold lame' as a general rule. :)

As for me, I leave you with this:

We're having shirts like this made - after all, you just can't take things too seriously, right? :)

Next time, we'll talk baseball season!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

She said "Everything's Ok".

Hi everyone - it's been shamefully too long since I've blogged. Things have been busy of course, and at the same time I have felt like there hasn't been anything meaningful to write about. But I need to get back in the saddle, so to speak. I wanted to start by sharing a story.
A few days before Mother's Day I had a dream about my mom. I rarely remember my dreams, and this is the first dream I know of that I've had about my mom since she died in January. It wasn't a very long dream, really just a moment, but it was incredible vivid.

I was in the back of a room, almost as if it was scene that was being set up in front of me. The room ran lengthwise across and toward the front of the room there were a few round tables and chairs. My mother was sitting at one of the tables, with her back mostly to me. She was looking at a friend of hers, who was talking to her very animatedly. My mom wasn't saying anything, she was just listening patiently, which was very normal for her to do.

Suddenly the scene shifted and I was at the end of the room, to the left of where I had been watching before. At that moment, I was a participant in the scene. I looked at her, and could feel myself getting excited that she was there...she was really there! She turned and looked at me. Her friend suddenly didn't seem to be there, though I knew she still was. But I was completely focused on my mom, and she on me. It seemed that my entire field of vision was filled with my mom's face, but I didn't feel like either of us had moved. She looked at me very seriously, not angry or anything like that. Instead, she seemed determined. Determined that I remember this moment, as if she knew I rarely remember my dreams.

Then she slowly and clearly said, "Everything's ok". 

At that moment, I could feel the emotions start to well up. I wanted to say so much to her, to hug her, to cry, to tell her how much I miss her and how hard everyday is without her. Before any of that could happen though, I woke up. I woke with a choked back sob in my throat, and all I wanted to do was cry. But I couldn't, I physically couldn't. I caught my breath, and I remember whispering "Thanks, Mom". I immediately fell back asleep.

In the morning I cried. I told my husband about my dream and I cried. After I took the kids to school I cried on my way to work. I teared up most of the day. I just couldn't get the image out of my head. I shared the story with my brother and he told me that the night before he had been feeling pretty low, thinking about mom. That morning, he had seen my note, and it made him feel better. Like it was a message to us, letting us know that things are ok. Whether things are ok with her, or will be ok with us...I hope that it will be both.

I still think about that dream regularly, but now, it's comforting, rather than upsetting. I miss her so much, but I trust her when she says "Everything's ok".