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Prima Ballerinas

This weekend Emily danced her heart out in two dance recitals. The first was at her nursery school, on stage her best friend at school started crying during the dance. Afterwards I asked Emily why her friend was crying, she said, "I don't know, I couldn't ask her, it's not the time for talking it's time for dancing." Not exactly winning points on the empathy scale.

Luckily, Saturday, the day of her ballet recital, it was only 100 degrees. Yet, the show must go on, and the girls were incredible. Emily's eyes lit up when she saw the stage at dress rehearsal and watched the other classes go. She instructed me to not talk while she is dancing and walked up onto the stage all by herself when her class was called. Afterwards she played with her sweet ballet friend with wide eyes and big smiles as the older girls started to perform.

After rehearsal we went home and I finished packing for Chicago. Marian and I were scheduled to leave the next morning. I also finished cleaning the house for family to come over after the recital, which included swiping everything off the kitchen table, opening a closet door under the stairs and stuffing everything inside of it.

Emily got dressed in her recital wear and was as pretty as a picture, although she did keep questioning why she had to wear her hair in a bun. A bit of healthy skepticism never hurt anyone. About ten minutes before call time she was sporting her tights, tutu, bow, bun, blush, lipstick, and ballet shoes. I was thinking all day of my best friend Rebecca who was a ballerina growing up and I used to watch her dance across the stage lighter than air. Emily is on her way and I like to think it would make Rebecca happy to see, I know she would have been here squeezing my hand bursting with excitement and pride to watch Emily if she could.

When I signed Emily up for ballet last year I wasn't sure which studio to pick. I called Ballet With Miss Amie's and right away was struck by their warmth and kindness. At her first class eight months ago Emily was afraid to go inside and we sat in the corner of the studio together the entire time with her glued by my side watching the other girls, too fearful to even try. On Saturday she stood up in front of over a thousand people and performed a beautiful dance. Miss Amie, Megan, Mallory and Diane have nurtured Emily and also provided a safe and happy space for our family to experience normalcy and support in a difficult time which we are grateful for beyond words. They are the best!

Now I was shockingly never a ballet dancer, well I did it for a couple years and was terrible at it. The teachers would say, "lift your arms from underneath" and I would look at my arms and think, how the heck am I supposed to do that.

Emily lights up with pride and her whole body language changes when she connects to dancing. It is so beautiful and special to see. We are so lucky to have this smart, funny and gorgeous girl and are very proud of her. I hope that as our journey with NPC continues Emily can turn to dancing or

another outlet to work through the trials ahead. So proud of our girl and all she has overcome already. This is definitely one of the good times!

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