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Today was my 5-year-old daughter’s very first dance recital, ever.

I was not prepared.

When she started soccer, I was not prepared emotionally for it, but this time, I was pretty well armed for all the feels. Especially when it came to realize how much she’s growing up. (It does happen as quickly as they say.)

But I was not prepared for the whirlwind intensity of dance recitals.

I anticipated the chilled out environment of the school plays I had been to when I was a kid. This wasn’t that.

Everything was as well organized as can be for the number of little girls in tutus running around, but I had no idea that I’d be walking into a room of hundreds of little ones with over 20 acts going on!

Even getting there 30 minutes early meant having to hunt for a couple of free seats, and we were one of the last there!

My daughter’s class is on Monday mornings. The only other class going on is a little Mommy & me class, and her actual class only has three little girls total.

It’s so chill.

I just had no idea the scale of what we were walking into.

I also had no idea how much I wasn’t as prepared as I thought emotionally.

The nerves I felt were way more than any time I ever played a sport or performed on a stage myself.

Of course I was wondering how she was doing backstage without me, but even though we had practiced and had dress rehearsals, she has never been on a stage in front of hundreds of people before.

Would she freeze up? Freak out? Cry?

She was brilliant. 

I mean I’m biased, and at 5-years-old the bar isn’t set that high. But she went out on that stage, with no fear, and she did the whole dance with a smile. 

The feeling I wasn’t prepared for was pride. 

It’s not as if I haven’t been proud of my kids in the past, but this kind of pride was different. I am always proud of my kids just because of who they are. 

But today I was proud of one of my kids for their work, dedication, and talent. She went to her ballet class every week, learned the dance, practiced at home, and was brave enough to go out on that stage and show off her work. 

I have been just floating on a cloud of pride since this morning. 

The last five years since I gave birth to my tiny ballerina have been really hard. Adjusting to being a mom, not to mention being married, then having twins throw into the mix when my daughter was just 2 wasn’t exactly easy.

But as I watch my kids grow older, I start to see the fruits of my labor. They become more and more their own person, and it’s beautiful… and terrifying.

As a mom, I want nothing more than for my kids to grow up, learn, explore, have lives of their own… and yet, I want to freeze time and just keep them with me forever.

It’s all emotional, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Motherhood has brought about bigger and deeper feelings I couldn’t have understood before. That’s part of the gig.

This little ballet recital today was just a small reminder of that.

So here’s to me officially joining the ranks of dance moms. All advice welcome. lol.

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