Wednesday, May 24, 2006
That First Ballet Recital
As a first-time mother to a first-time ballet student, you would think I would be pretty over-the-moon about her upcoming participation in her first ballet recital. I admit the first time I saw her dance in her class (months ago), I shed a tear. I was so proud that I had kept my daughter alive and that maybe she had learned a thing or two along the way...like walking, and listening and talking...and to see her (try to) dance, was really something.
Months later I'm pretty much over it. However, I am all of a sudden realizing that a recital is quite a production, and that no other mothers are "over it"...in fact, it's just beginning. There are Mom's putting in their two cents about what color tights go best with the OVER-THE-TOP (and too expensive) tu-tu ensemble that these 4 and 5 year olds are donning. There are rules about attending dress rehearsal. I got a pass (which I think I already lost), good for 2 parents (no kids, no anyone else) to attend the DRESS REHEARSAL. I never imagined that my own husband would want to attend the DR, let alone extended family and such. I guess there has been a problem with that in the past...else why the special ticket?
Tickets to see the show are $17.00 a pop, which is more than I spend for most of the professional children's theatre that I take my daughter to see in the theatre capitol of the world. I have already spent $700.00 (oh plus 16 for the time I left her ballet shoes at home and had to buy new ones when I got there...argh) for this girl to participate in Ballet since the fall (would have been more but a serious case of mono took her out of it for one month and they were gracious enough not to charge me), and now I have to shell out 34 bucks just to see the fruits of our collective labors?
Then came ballet picture day. All the girls were instructed to wear buns for pictures and the performance. I went to three different beauty supply stores to find a hair piece for my daughter since she has short hair. I fashioned this bun to the best of my abilities only to get to picture day and see that a few of the girls had been to the salon to get up-dos and the rest had all sorts of fancy shmancy hair going on, and my daughter is obeying the "hair-pulled-back-in-a-bun" rule when SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH OF HER OWN HAIR TO MAKE A BUN.
I am actually not as frustrated as I sound, just more amazed at this crazy culture I am walking into. Maybe because performing is part of my business, and I have gotten to do it a lot, I don't get EXCITED and TAKE-MY-KID-TO-THE-SALON-FOR-PICTURES crazy. Maybe because getting photos taken is a routine thing for my kids and me, this photo doesn't matter as much. I just find the whole thing so interesting.
And actually, part of me envies the excitement, passion and energy these moms are exhibiting. I think my daughter knows that I am thrilled for her, and that I am trying my best to be a good ballet mom (by sewing her costume by the due date and getting her a bun and schlepping her to class each week). I know she is really excited about what she calls her "first ballet recital". I suspect if I can come up for air after all this ballet-mom culture shock, I might shed another tear when I see her dance in her "first ballet recital".