Monday, June 05, 2006
Death by Cuteness
We attended M’s ballet recital on Saturday afternoon, a show focused not on skilled turns but on profound cuteness. When the first group of four-year-old ballerinas tiptoed onto the bright stage in their blue, chiffon tutus, tears welled in my eyes and I thought I would die from the cuteness factor. In a line the girls swayed and stepped and looked at one another for guidance, finally following their teacher's movements as she stood to the side. The audience clapped at every twirl, at every tiny jump. The babies (because they’re still babies at four) did so well considering they were at the Duarte Performing Arts Center, in front of a significant audience. Of the forty children, only two cried, one from stage fright, the other a kindergartener who slipped and hurt her stocking-covered leg.
M slid out from behind the curtains several numbers later, hand in hand with her best friend, skipping around the stage and smiling surprisingly huge. I was taken aback at how comfortable she seemed because she tends towards shyness. She is so shy that she cried over attending the last rehearsal, saying she didn't want to go on stage. Not so on Saturday. In fact, her constant smile made me wonder if she has a bit of a “star” in her. Not that I have any desire to be a stage mother, but I was so happy to see that she showed no nervousness, no hesitation. She was all joy up on that stage, completely the opposite of her mother. She didn’t remember all the steps, but that didn’t bother her in the least. Two dances she had (all the kids had two), and later she told me she liked the second one best, the quicker paced “Greased Lightening”. She said she loved the “shaking” of her body to the beat, the hand movements, and the skipping, too.
At the very end D, along with the many, many family members of the other dancers, rushed the stage to give a pink rose bouquet to her sweet, smiling self. The morning had been a warm one, over a hundred degrees but I was basking in the coolness of my daughter who maybe will always be brave under harsh light of watchful eyes.
That evening we celebrated A’s 9th birthday at a Mexican restaurant in Pasadena, his favorite, with my sister and her family. Sunday brought a kiddie birthday party in La Verne, near Pomona. And today? Registering for swim lessons, ordering an ice cream birthday cake, and lunch at the Vault with M in Glendora. We had the finest conversation, mainly revolving around the interests of Barbie and her friend Crystal.
“I will be learning to swim, Barbie?” M asked in her most sophisticated voice.
“Oh yes, Crystal. You’ll be in a big pool with a teacher.”
“But I won’t be putting my head under water until I’m eight, Barbie.”
“Not until then?”
“I’m not a grown up yet. When I’m eight, I’ll be ready, Barbie. Will you be taking swimming lessons, too?”
“Oh definitely, Crystal. I’ll be learning to dive. There’s nothing like going hands-and-head first into a cold pool!”
“Especially on a hot day, Barbie!”