Yesterday evening, for the first time, my 4 & 1/2 year old daughter Cora and I attended the ballet. She has taken just one ballet class at the local YMCA, but Cora seems hardwired to favor all things dance, fashion, and singing.
[Aside from the warbling singing I regularly do around the house, Cora and I have little in common when it comes to dance and fashion. My “dancing” experiences are strictly limited to the dance clubs/bars I visited during college, and one could hardly call it anything more than inebriated gyrations.]
At any rate, I don’t get out much anymore … to anywhere. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. No. I was somewhere in between panicked and lock-myself-in-my-bedroom-and-hide-in-the-corner kind of freaked out. These days I manage the depression and anxiety far better than back in August last year, but I am also not magically cured just because I am in therapy and taking medication. Leaving the safety of our home and then sitting in a large theatre was daunting, to say the least.
But this evening wasn’t about me. No – this night was all about Cora. And I wasn’t going to let the depression or panic attacks hold either of us back.
I wanted to take my sweet girl to a live performance – just the two of us – and experience something magical with her. Perhaps watching real ballerinas perform on a real stage would plant a seed. I suspect the seed is already there … maybe this was like watering the little thing… coaxing it to grow.
Last night, for the first time, I think I truly saw my daughter and I witnessed her blossoming as a creative and eternal soul. We spent the time before, during intermission, and after the performance connecting – talking about the theatre itself, the dancers, the lights under the steps. Drawing ballerinas. Hugging as she sat on my lap during the performance. Her eyes twinkled and sparkled. And she was at ease – comfortable in her skin and not contending with two other siblings to be seen and heard.
I don’t know what heaven is like, but if it feels the way last night did, then I would live for even just a second of that paradise.
Afterward, we picked up some ice cream – Neapolitan (Cora’s ecstatic choice!) – and, once home safe and sound, we scooped some in glass ramekins. We even embellished the little scoops with whipped cream and sprinkles. Mind you, it was already 10pm – well past Cora’s bed time – but curfews be damned. This was a special occasion.
When she looks back on the evening, what will Cora remember? She’s already retold the story line from each ballet featurette to John, Myles, and Grace. She continues to gush
about the costumes.
I hope she remembers there can be magical moments.
I hope she remembers how loved she truly is … exactly as she is. Just for being Cora. Shine on my sweet little lady. Shine on.