A few days ago, we attended Mallie Bee's dance recital. I believe I've been to about fifteen of these, first with Teacher Girl and now the Beester. We love watching the kids, from itty bitty ones to the older girls. Over the years, it has become apparent that Mal is pretty good at this dance thing, but I am highly prejudiced so that is a biased opinion. The last three years she has danced on the competitive team and though she has always been shy, put her in some jazz, tap or ballet shoes and she explodes on the stage.
This has been an expensive endeavor for us to undertake. I'd like to say I've been a supportive mother through it all, but that would be bullshit. We've never had one of our kids get to this level and the financial commitment has been a continuous drain on our bank account. Some months, both my paychecks went to dance expenses and I'd make sure she knew it, because you're not a mother unless you've learned how to pass out guilt like treat bags at a birthday party. Last year, I decided to let that go. If she was serious about this (and she was) then I needed to suck it up and be happy I had a kid who'd rather hang out at a dance studio than anywhere else.
At this year's recital, Mal was awarded the studio scholarship. For the next year, she will be able to take all the classes she wants at no charge. The award is given in memory of Rebecca Wright, a dance instructor who died at the age of 22 from cystic fibrosis. She left her mark with many and Mal was lucky to have her as a teacher. That girl of ours cried and cried when she got it. To be recognized by your instructors for your passion and commitment is incredible. To be recognized in the name of someone you adored is overwhelming, and I've no doubt that Becca's spirit will be perched on Mal's shoulder during this next year.
I wish I could rewind some of my guilt trips and be the kind of mother she deserved all along when it came to this passion of hers. I got to the party later than I should have, but have learned that whether it's art, writing or dance, creativity has to be nurtured and the cost of getting there gets paid back in a thousand different ways.