Following last Saturday’s dance show where the little star of our family showed off her moves, I’ve been feeling more than a little nostalgic. It is a well-known fact that parents tend to project their (mostly unfulfilled) dreams onto their children and try to live the childhood they would have liked through their offspring. I used to swear I would never be that mother. Then again, I swore I would never smoke but I do. I also swore I would never fall pregnant unless I was married and also that I would remain single for the rest of my life. Enough said.
Munchkin has (so far) two dance lessons a week – jazz and ballet. One of my childhood dreams was to be a ballerina. While most little girls will dream of wearing a tutu to work at some point or other, I was totally obsessed with dance up to the age of 15. So obsessed that the first music tape I bought was Stravinsky’s Firebird, the first card I bought with my own pocket money was for myself and not for a friend and it had a girl doing an arabesque on the front (I still have it actually) and the first book I borrowed from the library was a book about ballet. I lived to dance and went to lessons up to four times a week when I was in my teens. My late teacher would be horrified to know the trouble I’m having with my neck because of my poor posture. All that work for nothing!
Eventually I had to stop dancing because of problems with my lower back and mostly my hip, which I had injured during a rehearsal and still hurts to this day. It was one of the most painful (both physically and emotionally) decisions I had to take in my teens…probably the only decision I took at that age come to think of it! For many years I was unable to watch a performance or even pictures of dancers. They would invariably reduce me to tears. I was never so talented that I could make a living out of dancing but at least I could dance.
So now I find myself looking at my daughter in her leotard and tutu and hoping she will love ballet at least half as much as I used to. I will surely do my part to fan the fire!