“You know, this is my last Company audition”, she says to me as she runs into the bathroom. “Yes, I know”, I reply out loud. “I’ve thought of nothing else for the past 24 hours.”, I add in my head. “Hurry up and get outside. I need to take a picture.”. Outside, in front of her car she says, “Why? You have never taken pictures of us at audition.” “Because this is the last one,” I answer holding back my tears and in my head, I again add, “and I want to remember everything this year.” She just laughs, poses and flashes me her beautiful smile. Two pictures and she jumps into the car with her younger sister and she is off to her last Company audition.
J’s Senior Year of high school starts in about 6 weeks. The thought alone makes my heart hurt. Not in a heartbreaking way, but in a nostalgic, “I can’t believe we are here” kind of way. I’ve been thru this before with Vincent 3 years ago. But ignorance is bliss and I had no idea what my emotional rollercoaster would be in 2012. I know now. I am, selfishly, not thrilled about it.
HER LAST COMPANY AUDITION….. She started dancing at 3. She has been dancing for 14 years. FOURTEEN FREAKIN YEARS!! While dance does not define her, it is a huge part of who she is. That little studio helped make her who she is. She spent hours upon hours of her childhood in that studio. Her dance teachers helped mold that little girl for 14 years. Other than her father and I, they have been a more consistent influence on raising her than anyone one else. They are her “dance family”.
The last year of dance is a tough one. Her dance activities were always something that J and I did together with her core group, the Super Seven, and their moms. Then, the little sisters starting dancing and the dance family expanded. It was our thing. I have 6 additional dance daughters and there is a place in my heart for each of them. We have shared so many laughs, so much chocolate, so many late night diner dinners, so many sarcastic, belly aching laughs. We have traveled together, carpooled, given pep talks to the girls and to each other. The Dance Moms stepped in for me over the years when I couldn’t be there and I have done the same for the Dance Daughters. Yes, there has been some drama along the way, but it was part of the journey and made all of us closer and stronger. So many memorable moments on and off the stage. And here we are-one more year to make more dance memories with the Super Seven.
This audition is the first of the “lasts”. “Lasts”-the curse of the Senior Year for parents.
Reminder to self: must take one “last” at a time. Enjoy each “last”. Smile through the bittersweet heartache knowing that it is a “last”. Enjoy each one. One at a time. First of the “lasts”……