My daughter has her first dance recital this Friday. I took her to the dress rehearsal at a nearby high school this evening. It is the kind of thing a normal parent does, reminding me once again that I am a normal parent and my daughter is a normal child. It’s is just circumstances that make me feel as though we are out of place. The fact is though that she and I were hardly the only two who came in a pair tonight. There were very few matched sets of parents in the auditorium watching the various groups struggle through the hurried up practices. It was mostly moms and daughters who smiled and laughed and shared this ritual, one of the many, that goes along with growing up.
Dee was so excited and crouched with her best friend, Riley, on the top step of the stage I felt a pang of guilt when I realized that this was something the two of them would not experience together again. They have known each other since they were babies. Best friends since they could walk. It brought tears to my eyes to watch them dance across the stage together and miss their cues because they were too busy comparing bug bites on their legs or giggling about something that is only funny if you are four…….and best friends. They hugged good-bye when their rehearsal was through. All smiles. They would see each other in the morning before school began and play together at recess. And I wondered what the scene might look like in a few weeks when good-bye would be longer than just the summer, and how I would deal with the tears that would come later this summer when Dee realizes the fall will bring a new school without familiar faces. Without her best friend, Riley.
Tonight was just a rehearsal. One of the many you have in life.