Phoebe had her dance concert on Sunday. It’s been all year coming, and none of us were sure of the outcome. You see, last year my dear girl was in the baby group, so darn cute they were that when they walked out of stage and started their number, there were lots of “ooohhhs” and “ahhhs” and a few giggles. Being that Phoebe is a smart lil chicken, she of course heard the laughing but summarized that everyone was in fact laughing at her. It took some persuading by me and her teacher to get her to hop on stage one last time for the finale.
This year, she has loved dancing and seems to have learnt a lot. She prances around at home practicing and is often found in the yard making up her own little dance. However, this whole year she has remembered that concert. She has been apprehensive about it, not nervous I don’t think, but apprehensive. We have supported her through it and listened to her concerns but been encouraging at the same time.
She performed her first dance on Sunday beautifully, and you could see that she in fact was probably the leader of her little group, they all looked at her for the next move. There was one point though where I grabbed Hubby’s arm and whispered “she looks like she’s going to cry”. She didn’t though, and she finished the dance.
There was a short intermission and her second dance was to begin. But as all the Little Red Riding Hood’s skipped on to stage, I immediately knew, she wasn’t there and she wasn’t coming on. My heart dropped, I was worried for her, so I scooted backstage and there was my Little Red Riding Hood, in her costume with tears streaming down her face.
I was supportive but did not baby her, I did not try to persuade her to go out on stage either. If she was to go out, it would have to be her own decision. I was neither the pushy parent or the pandering parent, rather the supportive parent. She chose not to go back on for her other dances, she was upset, visibly, but I just kept telling her that she had already done her best. She said she didn’t like the crowds and I got it. I guess the crowd was her very own Big Bad Wolf.
Instead, I sat behind the black curtain while she sat to the side of the stage and waited for her name to be called to grab her trophy. Our family cheered loudly for her, hoping that it would make her feel better, and that out there in the sea of faces there were in fact people who loved her no matter what.
Tonight she goes back to dancing, and I know she’ll love it because she doesn’t have to be in front of the crowd. I’m not sure what will happen next year, she has been saying for a while she doesn’t want to do dancing anymore but Karate instead (not sure still where that has come from!). Whatever she chooses, we will support her, however, we will encourage her to stick with whatever she chooses for the year, she also needs to learn that you can’t just give up on things.
Have you had moments like this as a parent?