For someone who always used to be on top of it all, this is difficult for me to say:
I am the worst dance mom. Like. Ever.
And it’s not in the way you would think. I’m not obsessive, organized, and screaming. I don’t have back-up bobby pins or an extra set of tights in my purse.
In fact, I’m the dance mom who:
- Forgets to bring a hair tie to put my daughter’s hair up every week (hey, now that my hair is short, I have no need to carry one around on my wrist).
- Rolls my eyes when the director gets on her soapbox and says how much she loves all the “babies” even though I doubt she knows my daughter’s name.
- Lets my kid skip the last class before the recital.
- Laughs when I’m corrected for calling the production a recital (I’m not even sure how I could make that mistake…it is definitely a production).
- Picks up the”production t-shirt” on the way into dress rehearsal instead of…well…wait…when was I supposed to pick it up in the first place?
- Tries to get one last week out of a pair of slippers instead of buying a brand new $40 pair for the “production.”
She’s 4, folks. She’s wiggly and happy to be “dancing on the big stage.” She likes to put a different color eyeshadow on each eye. She laughs instead of cries when she falls in a dirty rain puddle in her pretty pink tights (this is usually the one that nearly sets me off, though…I try to restrain my true inner dance mom in these moments).
She’d rather be goofy than perfect. I love it.
Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t have everything together. Sometimes I wish I was the perfect dance mom who paid the 3rd costume invoice the day I received it (because they’ve changed the costume accessories several times). Sometimes I wish that I took her to class every week instead of rotating the duty with my mom. Sometimes I wish she followed the instructions and paid more attention. Sometimes I wish that I fit in with the other moms and had the production packet and week-long rehearsal schedule memorized. Sometimes I wish the instructor or director knew my name…my story…what I had to offer and bring to the table.
A few years ago, I would have. I would have been all that and more. I also would have been miserable, which means that Skylar would be miserable. The truth is that I’m okay picking my $20 tickets up on the last day possible. It’s much more fun being the one giggling in a row by myself than going over routines in my head and flinching every time my 4-year-old makes a mistake. I’ll throw the scuffed shoes in the MOPS bag instead of wrapping them in tissue paper and give my kid a high-five when she strolls off the stage super proud of her performance.
Because she’s awesome. I’ll be perfectly ok if she doesn’t want to dance next year; I’d rather her try out some different things anyway. I want her to decide for herself what she falls in love with. And if, by chance, she does fall in love with dance…I’m already in love with her, so I’m sure it will be grand. We’ll make memories together and I’ll continue to find new ways of laughing at life.