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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Recitals past and present

This afternoon, I found myself seated in a high-school auditorium, awaiting the debut of our granddaughter as a dancer. My Lovely Bride and I had travelled six and a half hours to be part of this wonderful event.
As the procession of little (and not so little) girls tapped, pirouetted, and hip-hopped across the stage, I found myself gong back in time.

In the blink of an eye, I found myself once again seated in a small, hot auditorium in a small school in a small Northwestern Ohio village. Lovely Bride and I anxiously awaiting the cultural highlight of the season; our two daughters, Charlotte and Shannon, were part of the spectacular number know to one and all as Baby Take A Bow.

The murmur of the crowd hushed as the house lights dimmed. The curtain was illuminated by a single spot light. Suddenly; it parted on a group of little girls, in their little leotards, ballet shoes, and frilly skirts. The music came up, and the dance began.

It is interesting how a child can take in hours of practice, and lessons, and show off their dance steps seemingly endlessly, only to let the entire assembly know they have a little bit of stage fright. As the jaunty little number came to the chorus “I’m presenting you right now; Baby take a bow.”,  well…. Char proceeded to take a nice bow in time with the other girls. And Shannon…well Shannon…. For the entire number she seemed to think the thing to do was stand like a statue with her fingers in her mouth.  As a result, the little number has since gone into the family annals as “Shanny stand up straight.”

From the humble school setting, I am transported to another school, in another state. Anxiously we await the debut of our youngest daughter Aubrey’s dancing career. She was cast in a clever number entitled “We Are Dancing Poodles”.  Having two older sisters the name of this cute song promptly became “Dancing Noodles” , which caused no end to the laughter and giggles around our home.

The girls had these adorable little white outfits with cute little Poodle ears head pieces.  With gathering up children,  costumes, shoes, etc , before dashing out the door. In the confusion, the cute little Poodle ear head piece was left at home.  Aubrey was the only Poodle dancing sans ears.  She was a real trouper, doing a fine job, all the while contributing a certain degree of comic relief.

Like a stone bouncing on a smooth pond surface, my memory skips to Aubrey’s Ohio dance debut. She was cast as a Sugar Plum Fairy, in a The Nutcracker meets Scrooge Christmas production.  There is something about Scrooge observing the Sugar Plums Fairies dancing about that lends a new perspective to Dickens’ classic. Again, she did a fine job, making myself and LB proud of her.

Which brings me to being in Virginia, awaiting our grand-daughter’s performance debut in the Swan Dance 2013 Recital.  The girls in her class sit together, little heads hardly protruding above the full sized theater seats. A row of pink little hair puffs, attached to perfectly coiffed hair-dos stand out in stark relief to the institutional light blue seats.  Chattering little voices, smiling little faces; all in eager excitement of their big show.

The time comes, she and her little friends take the stage. Being amongst the youngest students; there is a cuteness factor which steals the show.

While not in step with one another, and bumping into one another,  finally culminating in a tug-of-war over which way to exit the stage; I look at my Lovely Bride. Tears of joy and pride and Grandmotherly love dampen her cheeks. I look to our son-in-law, tears of joy, pride, and fatherly love stream down his cheeks. 

I look to our daughter. Somehow that gangly little Sugar Plum Fairy has become a beautiful young woman, wife and mother. My thoughts went to her older sisters, who  somehow transformed from unsure little girls into beautiful, self-confident  women.  Wives and mothers all, they are strong, gentle, loving  people.

I cannot express the immense joy, pride and love I felt as another little girl steps from her first recital onto the path of becoming a fine woman.

She has her Grandma, her Mother, and her Aunties who have all set a fine example for her

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