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Aliyah's Ballet Recital
“Mama, I want to go to ballerina school.”

I remember those sweet and adorably sincere words, that were repeated so often, like they were still falling off of my girls’ strawberry glossed lips. They were words I didn’t act on soon enough, at first wondering if they were whispered as an inquiry on a whim and then searching and waiting to “find” the right place. At long last, mama pulled the trigger and let her little ballerina girl loose on the world of pink tutus and little leather flats, on classes of chit-chatty bun-headed wee ones and wooden floors that echo their laughs and tiny voices.
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Forward nine months later, after a full Kindergarten year of growing up and a monumental amount of Wednesday afternoons where the scale would teeter between way-too-tired-and-feet-dragging-to-class and overly-excited-to-dance-and-see-friends (and that was just me! haha), and this little one seems to have blossomed into the ballerina she wished to be. The stage was hers. And so was my bathroom-turned-green-room for recital prep.
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With theater lights dimmed and a quiet room of parents holding abated breath, my nerves rattled their way through my entire body, and I’m sure my stomach turned enough for the entire row of us there in support of our girl. We giggled through the darling ensembles of the very littlest tap dancers and sweet spinning tutus working to remember their steps and cried through the dramatic performances of the polished experienced classes. While Aliyah pranced the stage to TinkerBell and alternated between chassé and relevé, beautifully executed spins and pretty pointed toes, I cried. I cried through smiling eyes and a proud, motherly grin. She danced all-in, not leaving room for question or doubt but with her heart, leaving that stage with every bit of of what she’d learned draped all over it.
Aliyah's Ballet Recital
That’s my girl. Learning for herself what it means to be dedicated through the rough times, like crying the entire ride to class because of tight tights or showing up with hair all crazy and a far cry from a high bun on crown because we’re running late, and then experiencing the joy of completing something with a heart really all-in.
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I don’t think anyone was more proud of her than little brother. Recreating the dancing experience for us all to enjoy during intermission and anxiously waiting at the backstage exit to award an armful of well deserved roses to his big sister.

And as for me? I’m just proud of these two, their love for each other and the way they embrace life. 
Aliyah's Ballet Recital

My heart skips a beat knowing we’re adding to this clan any day now!