Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dance Tryouts 2014: Thoughts About My Brave Little Toaster

This post is tricky because there are so many ways you could take it---as my wonderfully human readers. But if I could make a short disclaimer, I want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunities my daughter has. Not everyone gets to do what she does and she is one lucky little kiddo. That being said, I need to write down my feelings from this weekend.

My Petey girl is my life. Raising my kids and giving them the things they want is something I try very hard to do. I'd give them the moon if I could. I really would.

Petey is an extremely talented dancer in my eyes. She works very hard and practices constantly at home. She is always trying to learn new tumbling tricks and when music comes on, you will find her moving and shaking to the beat. She loves it and I love seeing the way it lights her up.

About 5 months ago, Petey realized that a lot of her dance friends got to take more classes than her and she asked me why one day. I told her it was because those girls were not only on her team, they had made an Allstars team and they took two extra classes every week and went to competitions a few extra times a year. She decided that day that she wanted to be an Allstar this next dance year. She worked almost every day to get her splits on both sides since that is something she's struggled to do and didn't like working on before.

Workshops for the tryouts came and Petey had a great first day. I even signed her up for an extra tumbling class with her favorite teacher and she got her kick-over for her back walkover. I was excited for her! The second day of tryouts, Petey started complaining of her tummy hurting and she was kind of a mess during workshop. She wasn't feeling well and I wasn't sure whether to take her home or keep her there. But she stayed and learned the rest of the dance.

By Saturday, Petey's stomach was still hurting but she had no other symptoms so we headed to dance tryouts. Miss Aly gave her some awesome advice and she seemed ready to walk in to tryouts. I looked in the window before her group was going in and I saw her crying with her dance teacher. Sigh...I was so torn! I really didn't know what to do because I didn't know why she was crying. Pressure was not Petey's friend that day. I think it all got to her.

Her wonderful teacher helped her regain composure and sent her in to try out. I couldn't watch that part but Petey said she did pretty good once she got in the room.

They posted the placements that night and my heart sunk when I realized Petey had not made Allstars. I don't know why I was thinking the odds were pretty good for her to make it. I have no explanation for that---probably just something my crazy mom brain did to give myself hope that Petey wouldn't be disappointed.

So then the biggest part I was dreading---I had to go tell my girl she didn't make the team she had wanted to make. I know, a good life lesson for a six year old to learn, right?
But I just couldn't bring myself to see it that way.
Petey has had the hardest time with this divorce and dance was such a highlight of her year. She has loved it. It has been "her thing". I dread giving her any bad news because I feel like she's had enough bad news for the year. But I walked in with a smile on my face and told her, "Guess what? You made tiny strut again this year!" and she immediately inquired about Allstars. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "It didn't work out this year." and I waited for the tears and the meltdown.

But it never happened.

Instead, my six year old warrior looked up at me with heavy eyes and said, "If you say it's going to be all right, I'll believe you, mom. It's going to be ok, right? I am still on the dance team and I still get to dance."

And this is the hard part to explain because you probably read that and are thinking, "Wow, good for her for having a great attitude!" and that is true. That is oh so very true. I love that about her. But it wasn't normal 6 year old behavior and it made my heart hurt because Petey has already learned a lot about disappointment and not getting things that are out of her control. Although they are good life lessons to learn, it makes me sad that her six year old life isn't as carefree as it should be. Divorce has done that to her. It has made her stronger and more resilient but it has taken a piece of her and forced her to be braver than most 6 year olds are. It has forced her to trust in the reliable adults in her life and look to them for assurance when she is feeling like she'll break. It has caused her NOT to meltdown when a meltdown would be ok---we are big advocates for melting down and then moving on at our house. It has been a good way for us to cope with life. :)

She didn't break that day and we are so happy she is still on the dance team she made last year---I just wish I could give her more. I wish I could control these things and give her everything she desires.

I've taken a few days to think about why she didn't make the team and I really don't think it had anything to do with her actual performance on Saturday. I think it has to do with her maturity and the meltdown she had in class and when I look at that from a dance instructor's perspective, it makes perfect sense to me. I trust her teachers and I absolutely love them. They have been such wonderful people and have loved Petey from the very first day she started classes with them two years ago. I love her studio. I love how she gets to perform so much but the cost isn't as much as most other studios. I love how much fun she has being surrounded by so many friends and kids that share her same desires.

I'm sure every one of those kids would love to be on Allstars. I'm sure there were other kiddos disappointed and other moms and dads that wondered why their child was overlooked. That is the hardest part about this dance thing. We all believe we are doing the right thing by advocating for our child but not everyone can be the best and make the highest team. I have Petey at Club Dance because I trust them and as hard as it was to get to that point after Saturday's sadness, I do trust them. I know they made their decisions for their dance teams but also for the goodness of our children.

Petey is strong. It's hard to see how awesome she can be because she is often quiet in class but one of the reasons I advocate for Petey so much in dance is because I see the change when she gets on stage. I was surprised the very first time she stepped on a stage and actually danced and smiled. She is normally painfully shy but put her on a dance stage in front of hundreds of people and she lights up! It has been amazing to see her growth and talent become something so incredible. I love seeing how happy she is. It is the best thing.
Like I said before, I'd give her the moon if I could. I really, truly would.

No comments: