I never fully, and I can admit this, appreciated her. I for a very long time, considered her an overly neurotic thorn in my side that was sent here simply to nag me about everything. I'm pretty ashamed to admit that now. However, since becoming a mother myself it has opened the doors for us to communicate, and LOVE more openly.
Because I get it now. Or, at least I thought I did.
Dance recitals change everything.
That's right. Lil Bit has her FIRST dance recital. Next weekend. I'm more nervous and excited than she is!
So about a month ago, we had our big "recital" meeting at the dance studio. We covered all sorts of details, from lining up, to rehearsal schedules, to costumes and makeup and recital cover ups (they can't show their costumes in the theatre unless they are on stage...)
I came home from that meeting near tears. It was so...stressful. More money, more things to buy, find, having to take a half day off work for a dress rehearsal, find babysitting for the other kids while I'm THERE, buying tickets... Rhinestones and sequins and bling OH MY.
My husband was pretty irritated. "MORE MONEY?!" (Insert manly rant about all things girly being stupid and expensive here) "GUNS ARE CHEAPER! LEMME TEACH THEM TO HUNT!"
Anyway. I got over the stress and jumped right in. She's only in the one number, it's early in the evening. We should be cool.
About the time I started assembling and putting all the rhinestones (over 50) and sequins (several hundred) on her costume, I called my Mommy.
"I don't remember this being this hard when we were kids mom. Why was it easier?"
And she laughed. And laughed and laughed some more. I was kinda annoyed! "WHY are you laughing at me! It wasn't like this when we were kids!"
She was kind, reminded me that at one point my sister and I were in 4-5 dances, EACH, with my sister often being chosen for company numbers so that added 2 more for her, so 7... She and my daddy spent THOUSANDS on dance recital.
We weren't rich y'all. So I don't even know how they made that happen.
That night the memories started to come back. My mom and her best friend/cousin, patiently sewing and gluing while my sister and my cousin and I stood on chairs in our dining room. Bitching about how we were hungry, you stuck me with that needle, my legs are TIRED, it's LATE, I don't wanna do this anymore...etc etc. Costume after costume every weekend for weeks. Music playing softly in the back while they sipped on diet coke and chatted, enjoying every minute of it. I don't remember getting in trouble for being a brat. I remember my Mommy smiling, telling me how pretty I looked, occasionally swearing when she stuck herself with a needle or burned herself with hot glue...but no complaints, no VISIBLE stress.
I remember one recital, my brother got hurt at a friends and had to go to the ER. My mom's best friend got us to the theater, got us dressed, other friends moms helped with make up.And I remember vividly hating my brother for a few minutes and being VERY angry with my Mom and (hey, I was like...7 okay?) And just being pissed beyond all reason because how DARE she not be here. Stupid brother.
And I remember pouting my way through the entrance of that dance, finding my dot on the stage, looking out...and there was my mom. Standing off to the side by an entrance where she had snuck in, camera in hand...the biggest possible smile on her face, and pride...lots of pride.
I was a lucky girl.
I sent my mom a text in the middle of the night. Thanking her, for never complaining, for smiling, for putting undue financial stress on her and daddy that was not necessary and obviously unappreciated, for being there even though it meant dragging my brother to two separate ER's because the wait was too long at the first one because she "couldn't miss her girls recital..."
My husband will never get it. I don't expect him too. The only thing I likened it to that made any sense to him was "How would you feel if you missed Lil Man getting a deer?"
I'm excited to start this journey with my girls. I can honestly say I can't wait until all three of them are up there one day... wearing gaudy red lipstick and dancing their hearts out because they want to see mommy's smile from the stage.
Our seats are in the balcony, but I'm going to park myself by an entrance door closer to the stage.
I know just the view I want her to see when she's up there.
(Love you mom)