Saturday's dance recital was everything I thought it would be but, stupidly, I hadn't prepared myself for the range of (ridiculously pregnant) emotions I'd feel. First off, when Delaney and I arrived we were thrust into a large dressing room full of mothers and daughters that also contained the costumes as well baskets of matching hair ribbons, brushes, makeup (yes! makeup! for two-year-olds!) and rubber bands. I don't think I've mentioned it much here but I'm not a girly girl. I don't know how to do hair. Mine is naturally curly and I just squish it until it dries and viola! That's my "hairstyle." Not very creative, I know, but damn easy which is pretty much my M.O.
Anyway, there were mothers everywhere primping their kids and somehow figuring out how to secure their daughters' wispy fine baby hair into pretty, petite buns. I was completely out of my league and--this realization taking place just under 30 seconds after arriving--I found myself close to tears. What kind of mother will I be for the rest of Delaney's life if I can't secure a bun when needed? I was both horrified and disappointed in myself. Roger arrived just minutes later and his take was that Delaney didn't need the bun or the bow. Suddenly, my previously strong beliefs against conformity were shoved aside as I nearly shrieked at him that his daughter MUST have a bow! There was no other way! And that he'd better leave my presence before my head shot clear off my body. Yeah, nothing like sticking to your principles under pressure.
Luckily, our wonderful, amazing babysitter appeared and she came up with an adorable and perfectly suitable alternative to a bun. The bow fit on top of Delaney's head and she looked cute as could be. Thank God for our babysitter.
The next time I just about lost it was during their second dance, a ballet routine. The sweet, gentle music that played while my daughter stood on stage and carefully studied and emulated her teacher's moves drove me to tears and I sank into a corner and sobbed silently, begging God that no one would see me, mess that I was (luckily Roger was filming that particular dance--see link below--so all was not lost by my freakout). I couldn't help it. Delaney was so precious, so perfect, so beautiful, so funny (what with her being the only kid clapping and bowing at the end) and she's growing up so fast. I could no sooner stop crying than I could breathing, the wave of emotion washing over me was that powerful. Somehow I was able to pull it together for the last dance (another ballet to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and then we were all clapping, laughing and whooping loudly for these darling little stars who'd done such an amazing job.
You'd think that would be enough of an emotional roller coaster ride for one day but there was more in store for me, and this time it nearly stopped my heart. As we were getting Delaney changed in the after-show chaos of the dressing room, she decided to run out of the room, through an open door that led outside and straight into the parking lot. It all happened so fast and I'm not sure if I was the first to notice or the closest one to her or what but I found myself running after her, all 8-plus-pregnant-months of me, as if I was on fire. It had rained outside and it was only by the grace of God that I didn't slip, fall and break my neck as I reached out to grab Delaney just as she got into the street. I swear my heart didn't stop pounding for three hours after that. Wouldn't you know that the day of my life that I most needed a stiff drink I couldn't have one. Figures.