Josie performed in her first dance recital this past weekend. She was dressed as a butterfly and danced her little heart out for all of a minute and a half. We sat through 27 other numbers just to watch her flutter about on the stage. Totally worth it. She loved every second. The theme and title of the recital was “Emerge”, which meant lots of little butterflies spreading their tiny wings and skipping about the stage.
Just like there were a lot of things I didn’t know when it came to having a gymnast in the family, I am equally unaware of dance recital do’s and don’ts, particularly the dress rehearsal part. I understand the idea of a dress rehearsal. I dabbled in musical theater in high school, so I like to think I know a thing or two. But fact that we, as parents, are expected to get our 4-yr-old little girls into a costume, hair in a bun, and make-up applied, not just for the recital, but the night before to “practice” their 1 1/2 minute routine is lame, if you ask me.
I tried to do what was asked of me; show up on time, with Josie ready as if this were the real thing. But driving from Seattle to Everett on a Friday night is hellish. Josie had plenty of time to change into her costume at stop lights along the way. However, there was no way that the make-up, comb, and hairspray stuffed into a bag would be put to use that night.
I screeched to a stop in front of the auditorium parking it in the bus lane. I jumped out, carrying Josie, since she had her ballet shoes on and I didn’t want those precious shoes getting damaged on the sidewalk. Frantically, I searched the crowd for anyone who could tell me where the heck I was supposed to go. A mom, whose daughter was from another class, stood there next to her fully-dressed-makeup-on-hair-in-bun daughter, looked at me and said, “You’re too late. They’re already on stage.”
There was another mom who knew my pain. She saw my sweaty self and she knew, clearly, this was my first time. She had compassion. “There’s a side door to the stage. You can make it, if you run. Go! Go!”
I ran, with Josie on my hip, Judah tagging along behind, and my car still parked in the bus lane. As I ran, my poor little butterfly yelled, “Mama! My wing is dragging on the ground and my boobie’s showing!”
And that’s how she entered…stage left. Costume twisted, wing dragging, boobie showing, no makeup, and hair every which way. But she made it.
The recital was a different story. We arrived early, makeup on, costume straight, wings in place and all her little wispy hairs pulled back in a bun. She was perfect. She emerged. Thank the good Lord the recital emerging didn’t look like the rehearsal emerging.