Brave. Fearless. Beautiful. I’m not talking about me, that’s for sure. My daughter. Miss Carlee II. Boldness and bravery personified….her first solo tonight in front of her school and her soon-to-be dance teacher at her School for the Arts. My baby is growing up so fast, and her beauty, her poise, her strength, her fearlessness are all that I could ever dream for her to be. She is an amazing creature, elusive, yet open, giving yet with that Mona Lisa knowing smile. Miss Carlee is fast developing into a very mature pre-adolescent. .
She danced to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. It was beautiful. It was, as her teacher said, moving. As tears literally poured down my face while I used my iPhone to video her, I watched, almost breathless, every movement of her young, graceful, strong body. I watched her push herself, how she conveyed emotions with the movement of her arms and hands, the leap of her legs in a grand jete, and I cried. I didn’t care who saw or what anyone might think, because it was a moment never to be repeated. You never get to dance your first solo again, or be the Mom watching it unfold.
This evening I let her watch the video on my phone. I can’t honestly express which was more moving–watching the dance, live, the first time, or just watching the emotions play across her face as she watched herself. First, I swear I saw tears. Then she bit her lip and didn’t stop. Her eyes widened. Her breath quickened. I wish I could have captured all of that with my phone again, just to show her how she moved herself.
Next Wednesday this young girl graduates from sixth grade. She moves onto the giant school where the seventh and eighth graders are provided some isolation and protection from the much larger and more mature ninth through twelfth graders. Even knowing this, Mom is a little nervous. I did attend the same school but it was 7-9 then, a completely different situation. Now her school, like the Louvre, has a new face, but many of the original, beautiful elements still standing strong and proud. I have so many emotions, all selfish, about losing her to adolescence. I fear it, even as I embrace it.