Sunday, May 03, 2009

The art of life.

Yes, this is another post of my experiences as a dad. Yes, every dad (hopefully) has these same experiences or very similar ones. But I'm a dad with a blog!

About twenty-four hours have passed now. I'll admit a lot of the glow has already faded. But last night I had more love and pride for my little Miniwether than I ever felt before and that is saying a lot! Last night was her first ballet performance.

My ballerina.

She had probably less than a minute of stage time total as one of ten "Attendents to the Lilac Fairy" in the ballet Sleeping Beauty. I can't tell you if she did great or not, though I'm assuming she did everything right and any differences between her movements and those of the other attendants was due to errors by the others!

Those of you who read my Twitter updates may have seen a few where I was at Miniwether's ballet rehearsals. This is not something I consider to be fun. Dance is pretty far down on my list of things I'd want to watch even though Misseswether used to be a dancer. In fact that's how I met her and I still enjoy occasionally dancing with her or better yet watching her dance. ;-)

But watching complete strangers jump around on stage for three hours? Just shoot me. I was dreading going to this ballet even though my child was in it. Not only was there going to be a full ballet, but I'd have to sit through an hour of jazz, tap, and modern dance performed by kids before the ballet even started. Shoot me! Kneecaps/stomach/brain wherever! Just do something to rescue me from dancing kids...especially "modern dance" which as far as I can tell is just an excuse for people to go up on stage and try to look as goofy and weird as possible. Sidenote: guys if you are going to be in a skin-tight leotard for goodness sake put some sort of cup on!

The first hour was pretty much as bad as I expected. I mean the dancing was probably fine. It's just that I had no connection to it what so ever. Neither the music nor the dancing did anything for me.

Thankfully I fell asleep.

I woke up when the lights came on for intermission. Ten minutes later they fell again and Sleeping Beauty began.

Okay...the scenery was nice. The music was surprisingly good. The dancers were a mix of professionals from Houston ballet companies along with students from the Miniwether's dance academy. They actually did some feats I found to be physically impressive. So far it was better than I thought it be. After about 8-10 minutes the Attendants to the Lilac Fairy came bouncing on to the stage to do their little routine.

I swear the spotlight was on Miniwether! She was absolutely glowing with joy and pride as she pranced and dipped and twirled on stage before +200 people. I loved her since the very second she was placed into my arms back in China but I was completely unprepared for the wave of emotion that swept over me last night. There was my little girl up on stage dancing and it felt like the proudest moment of my life!

That happened over twenty-four hours ago. A whole day has passed, it's now the next evening. The girls are asleep in bed, the house is quiet except for click of my keyboard. Today was a normal day. Some laughter, some tears, some joy, and some fighting. All the regular things that make up the regular days. Last night's glow is fading. I figure writing it down here is the only way to keep it going, the only way to keep the memory of it alive.

Someday years from now I'll come across this post. In my mind I'll suddenly be back in the third row of the auditorium watching what used to be my little girl dancing her heart out. That feeling of golden hazy love and immense pride will wrap around me again.

It'll be great.

Adventure! Excitement! Little Girl Dancing On A Big Stage!


Garden Geezer said...

Hello Merri
As the husband of a ballet, tap, jazz and musical theater teacher(but not modern dance thank God) I have met you and your daughter a thousand times in the last 10 yrs. Well not really you or your daughter but ppl just like you. I have some advice for you, if you NEVER want to cry openly in a theater full of ppl, if you NEVER want to be moved by the music of tchaikovski, if you NEVER want to be seen outside a theater holding a bunch of flowers for a little girl with too much make-up on dressed as pinnochio or a wind-up doll, then get her out of dance NOW, sign her up for soccer or basketball.
However , IF you want to be known as Merri the Adventurous and admired by lesser men because YOU DO know something about Ballet and THE DANCE, then keep her in class.
You will only grow more and more proud as her talent unfolds and her skills improve, believe me.
I have started to see you as a bit of a renaissance man/adventurer type. Having a bit of the performing arts in you will only round you out more.
By the way with your skills and interests you could be a major asset to your daughters dance school, they are always looking for handy problem solver types to make props for their recitals.
I have made lots of props myself and I can tell you that the smiles from a roomful of admiring dance-mommies is almost as much fun as a day on the river in your old canoe.
All the best to you and yours,
Garden Geezer

Oh and your daughter is precious in her tutu.

Merriwether said...


Yep, I had tears in my eyes as I waited outside the dressing room with a bouquet of roses for her. I don't think I ever hugged her as hard as when she came running to me and her "first bouquet". The flowers are in a vase right now, the centerpiece of our table. In a few days I'll hang them to dry for her, her first bouquet...

Dang GG, now I'm getting all teary-eyed again!

-Merriwether the Father

kmat said...

I missed my annual hunting/ fishing/ camping trip to attend my granddaughters second ballet recital in Magnolia. I also experienced everything you described. However,I was able to cry with the other 1800+ parents, relatives and friends. Thank goodness for bandannas. (They absorb tears so well!)