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My Daughter Didn’t Dance

Today, my daughter didn’t dance, and it broke my heart.

 

Lily-Ann celebrated her sixth birthday almost a week ago.  On July 20th we had friends and a few family members over to the house to help her celebrate.  She’d decided on a Goddess Girls theme this year.  We all dressed in chitons, played games I created based on the characters in the books, ate ambrosia cake and drank nectar punch, and everyone wore the winged sandals we made as our party favours.  After her party, she told me that all her birthday dreams and wishes had come true.  It was an awesome day.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

 

The two weeks leading up to her sixth birthday, the girl had been going through some rather big developmental changes.  It was clear she was becoming a “big kid” and leaving the “baby” behind.  I was so excited for her.  She was growing in leaps and bounds right before my eyes.  I was proud of the conscious choices she was making, and happy for those things that were changing even without her awareness.  As much as I loved my baby, my toddler, and my little girl, I love the big kid she was becoming even more (if that’s possible).

My little girl loved going to the movies.  She loves the stories, the action, the music, the popcorn…  cuddling up in the dark theater.  More than any of that though, she loved to dance.  Ever since that first movie we went to, we’d let her run up to the front as soon as the credits started, and we’d watch her dance.

Those first few times, she’d wipe out…  a lot.  We’d hold back though, and just wait.  Then, with even more resolve, determination, and grit she would dust herself off and dance her heart out.  Sometimes spinning all the way from one side of the theater to the other, arms held wide, face to the sky, feeling the entire world whorl around her.  And she would take my heart along for the ride.

It was secretly my favourite part of the movie too.

There were times, when others would get caught up in her passion too.  When individuals, couples, and families would stay to watch her dance.  Some would clap for her.  Others would tell us how amazing they thought she was.  And there were those who would simply smile, their eyes full of gratitude.

I think her dancing reminded people of joy.  We so easily forget how much of it there is in this world.  We get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and we forget how to be swept up in it.  Joy can fill the heart with rapture and our lives with light.  Lily-Ann gave that back to people, even if it was just for a while.

Today, when the movie ended, and she got up to dance, my heart soared – like it always did.  She got up to the front, and she stood there.  I watched her posture change, and watched that joy melt away.  Then I watched her walk back to her seat.  She sat back down and said “I’m not going to dance today.  Maybe a different day, but not today.”  And I started to bawl.  I wasn’t loud, but I couldn’t stop the tears.  They poured down my face.

Lily wasn’t sad.  She was happy.  But that pure innocent joy, without a care about what anyone could think, was gone.  She really is a big kid, and with that comes both good and bad.  I look forward to what this next stage has in store for us, but I desperately mourn for my baby – who was here with me only weeks ago.

I am not ready to give her up!

It may be ridiculous, but all I can be right now is sad.

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and already it’s too short.  Two months?  That’s barely enough time to picnic, forget finishing our unpacking, fixing up the house, gardening, heading to the lake, and all the other things we want to do.  We’re going to blink and it will be time for school again.

Autumn used to be my favourite time of year.  I loved the weather, the leaves, the fact that most folk stopped coming to the lake – leaving it just for us…  I loved everything about it.  Now I’m dreading it.

Autumn this year means my baby is leaving me.  And the kicker?  I’m the one who convinced her to give grade one a try, she wanted to stay home and have me teach her.  But Ms. Jackson, the grade one teacher at Mayfair?  She’s fabulous.  Is so obviously passionate about her kids, and I just know Lily-Ann could learn so much from having her be a daily part of her life.  I’m just so not ready to give her up.  Not even close to ready.

Moving from Pre-k to Kindergarten was hard enough.  I still miss our Friday afternoons.  But the idea that come Fall I will only have my girl for a few hours every day???  It’s just too much.  I honestly cried myself to sleep last night.  It’s ridiculous, I know.  I can’t help it though.  I am not ready to give her up.

We haven’t even started Summer holidays and already I’m depressed and upset over Summer coming to an end.  How the heck am I going to make it through?  There isn’t enough time in the world to prepare me for giving up my daughter full time to the school system.  Can’t she go part time?  Honestly?  Truly?  Is that an option?  Because THAT would make it all better.

I’m sick, here are some links!

I’m not feeling very well tonight, so instead of either boring you or grossing you out with details, here are a couple of posts and articles elsewhere that are worth a read:

http://www.fpa.org.uk/campaignsandadvocacy/sexualhealthweek/itsmyright

http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/05/14/can-disability-be-sexy/8048/

http://www.kindredcommunity.com/articles/does-time-magazine-have-er-attachment-issues-by-robin-grille/p/2433

http://plussizebirth.com/2012/01/the-unique-shape-of-a-mother.htm

 

Just a few things I’d come across recently on topics that I love.

Night everyone!

 

“A Family Affair” – photography preview for the Shuya family

The Shuya family’s session was very much a story about the love a mother has for her children.  Wendy and I had met years ago at an attachment parenting group, so it was a very pleasant surprise when she contacted me about having me come in and work with her family.  Getting to have this small peek into her life as a mother was a rare gift, and the photos speak to the kind of mother she is (and that we should all inspire to be):  involved, devoted, nurturing, and fun.  Wendy’s love for her two little ones knows no bounds, and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to help celebrate and immortalize it.

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And I hope this slideshow proves to some folk that sometimes?  Shooting at home really is best.  When your children feel safe and comfortable, it really does shine through.

Hmmmm….

Ya know?  Earlier today I had a few things on my mind, all of which would have made good blog posts.  But right now?  I’m beat.  It was a long and busy second half of the day.  And I’m now laying in bed next to the girlie…  typing on my netbook while I listen to her breathing in the quiet  dark.  All I can think of is her.  She may be absolutely exhausting, but she’s amazing, she’s wonderful, and she’s mine.  🙂

Happy St. Pats everyone.  The girlie wore a pretty green shirt with button flowers on it, and her green tutu.  We sang Pangur Ban, and danced around while watching The Secret of Kells.  Haven’t seen it yet?  I’d say it’s about time you did.  We are repeat borrowers (have reserved it from the library a couple times now).

Absolutely Enchanting!

I had actually planned on blogging about some pretty big things that are going on right now politically.  There’s some big stuff happening that both lactavists and internet users should both be aware of…  but you know what?  I need tonight to just recharge.  So I do hope you’ll forgive me.

Instead of taking the time to blog, I chose to sit and look at my beautiful, amazing, incredible, creative, loving, rambunctious, stick-to-it kid.  I know I’ve said it before…  but as a co-sleeping momma I think about it often.  I am so grateful for these night time moments.  When I can just lay beside my awesome daughter, taking everything in.  She recharges me.  She sometimes drains me too.  LOL  But she always gives me so much more than she ever takes away.  I’m a lucky mommy.  And she is my joy.

Sleeping Beauty

 

So… it’s a short blog post.  But I’ve got more important things to do.  Like snuggling with my sleeping girlie.

Sometimes joy is simple…

When I watch my wee girl sleeping, laying in bed next to me, joy is simple.  Nothing could fill my heart more than watching her here, quietly breathing.  Each rise and fall of her tiny chest elevates my happiness a little further.  This type of joy is easy.  This love comes easily.  Some joy, some love, you really have to work at…  but for now, I’m blissfully happy just laying here in the dark with my wee one beside me.

Families who don’t co-sleep may find certain things easier (like couple time for mom and dad).  LOL  But I wouldn’t trade this closeness with my daughter for any of it.  She sleeps soundly knowing I’m right here, and I sleep better knowing she is safe and sleeping deeply.  This, for me, is a natural.

The wee girlie has her own bed.  It’s a loft we built in Autumn.  It’s right above our bed (I even posted a couple times about it here).  And she slept in it for quite a while…  and I missed her while she was up there.  LOL  But as she grows and changes, sometimes  she needs us closer than at others.  And right now, she needs these night times.  It won’t be long until she rolls her eyes when I ask for a hug and kiss, so as long as she wants me close, I’m happy to remain so.

Co-sleeping is worth any tiny sacrifices we may have to make…  but honestly?  Those sacrifices are nothing compared to the rewards it brings.  In a world full of people with sleeping disorders, I know my daughter sleeps soundly.  She  is safe, secure, and attached.  Just as she should be.

Soundly Sleeping Sweetie

The “Up High” Bed

Finished building the wee girlie’s “up high” bed today.  She has wanted a loft bed for a few months now, and even though I’m not really ready for her to be this grown up, she is.  So, I did my research, found plans, and created a safe kid zone just for her… right above our bed (which, I’m sure, will still be very much a “family bed”).

Watching a show before bed.

The ladder and entrance.

Her own space...

Nightstand full of books

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