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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.

Picture Perfect Playdate

The girl had a playdate today with her bestie Parker.  They played with Zhu Zhu Pets, had monster pancakes for lunch, played with the Light Bright, made things with the Fazoodles, played with My Little Ponies, got dressed up as royals, played Skylanders, and had just started to play Littlest Pet Shop when his Mom came by to pick him up.  It was a great afternoon.

Oh!  And I can’t forget…  they made some plans for their future too.  You see, they plan to get married, and they have now decided that they should have 100 swimming pools and 100 horses.  Important things for any couple to have.  😉

Looking Back

There are times when everything is so chaotic in our lives that it can be easy to idealize the way things used to be.  Of course, the truth is people’s lives were full back then too…  but it is nice to envision a fairy tale simplicity; the not-quite-accurate bygone days.  There are times though, when you stand still long enough to realize our lives really aren’t that much different.  Our values are the same, as are our priorities.  Okay, so that may not be true for all people, but it is for us.  Family comes first.  And we do everything we can to give Kid Kid as amazing and rich a childhood as we can.  The holidays just tend to put the focus there, even for those who normally are too busy living to really notice.

an aged black and white photograph, digitally enhanced to appear so, of the girl with Santa.

A quiet moment with Santa.

The ballet recital

It’s amazing how quickly life intervenes and prevents you from getting anywhere.  During the two weeks Damon was home from work, we got an incredible amount done…  The house boxed up and moved, beginning to set up the new place…  but now that he’s back at work, we’re lucky to get a box unpacked every day.  With work, school, birthday parties, and ballet recitals?  It’s tough to find time for anything else.

It’s a little frustrating.  I’d really like to have the house free of boxes rather shortly.  I don’t want to go into the holiday season amidst piles of stuff.

So here’s something cute.  🙂  The girl had her very first ballet recital today.  Granted, it was an early introduction class for 3, 4, and 5 year olds – so there wasn’t much to it.  But it was cute just the same.  Here’s the video her Daddy took:

Hailey’s Question

I volunteer in the girl’s classroom on Thursdays, and like any Thursday, I was there today.  I love that the kids seem to enjoy my being there.  They get extra attention, so it’s a good thing.  I always get a ton of hugs, they draw me pictures, I read stories, and I just hang out and listen to anything they feel is important enough to share.

Today, Hailey came over to me, with her hands on her hips, looking very serious.  She stood, looking at me for a second, one eye narrowed, before she finally spoke.  Then in a slightly accusatory tone she asked “Why does Lily-Ann always look so pretty?”  Pretty coming out with a little extra venom.  I thought for a brief moment (stifling my laughter) and replied “Well, I guess that’s just how she feels inside.”  Seemingly satisfied with my answer, she sauntered off.

A couple funnies and a reminder to wear purple on Friday.

I’m a little beat tonight, so won’t be spending a whole lot of time on this blog post.  Figure I can share a couple of funnies some friends shared with me, and then make sure to remind you all of something important going on this Friday.  My Monday photo shoot put me on ice for a couple of days – no one could ever accuse me of being a lazy photog.  I get in there, and sometimes it means I get sore.  LOL  It’s always worth it though if it means my client has a great time, feels wonderful about themselves, and gets some amazing images to keep forever.

So here are our funnies:

http://mashable.com/2012/10/16/bodyform-facebook-rant-vide/ – a feminine product company responds to a man’s FB status.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/27-reasons-why-kids-are-actually-the-worst-6z51 – 27 reasons kids suck (yes tongue in cheek)

And now our reminder:

This Friday is International Wear Purple Day aka Spirit Day.  So take the pledge at http://www.glaad.org/spiritday.  Wear purple in memory of all the young people who have taken their lives or who have had their lives taken thanks to bullying.  Wear purple to show all those who are currently being bullied that you care and that you believe they matter.  Wear purple and make a statement, let the world know that you won’t stand by idly, that you will not tolerate hate.  We’ll be wearing purple, and I hope we can count on you to do the same.

 

The Pre-K Graduation (photos and videos)

So, yesterday was kid-kid’s pre-k graduation.  The kids all did such a great job, and they were all so patient (it’s hard waiting to hear your name called through TWO classes worth of little ones).  Lots of people have been waiting ALMOST as patiently for photos and videos – so here they are.

Now, before we start the videos, please note:  The girlie had her hair done beautifully.  I left her in her classroom about twenty minutes before they came down to the gym…  how you see her, is how she came down.  LMAO  It took every ounce of willpower to ignore my OCD self and NOT rush over and fix her pretty little headband.  But I didn’t.  I left it as is, and she felt good about herself (me mussing with her would not have been good for her self esteem – and we love her as she is, mussed up tresses and all).

 

 

Here they are performing “clap, clap, clap your hands”.  Watch afterwards…  little Alyssa runs to the edge of the stage looking for her mom, hoping for a little assistance.  LOL  Too cute!  Oh!  And yes, my daughter is the only one in the entire class who insists on bowing and taking her due credit for her performance.  LMAO  No…  she couldn’t possibly be MY daughter.  heh heh.

 

 

Song number two – all about what they learned this year in pre-k.  😀

 

 

The girlie sings this song all the time, it’s one of her favourites.  We spend a lot of time answering questions about why they’d have a rat chasing away a snake when snakes eat rats…  which always cracks me up.  She takes it all so seriously.  😉  But honestly?  Why do they have a rat chasing a snake?

 

 

So…  what do you think?  Maybe another performer in the family?  LOL

Damon (who took all the videos for me – thanks so much!) missed the very beginning of this next bit.  Ms. Tracy introduced each of the kids, and said a few words about them before giving them a book and their certificate.  Of course, our little one – who goes to school dressed as a princess or a fairy (and slightly less often as a cowboy or pirate) half the time, was introduced as “Miss Lily-Ann Marie Smith Princess Cinderella”.  😉  And as for the comment that they watched her “become smart as a whip”?  We think she always was.  LMAO

 

 

Back when she was only three, and in her first year of pre-k, Lily-Ann had both a “boyfriend” and a “girlfriend” (the second of which is still her bff, even though she went off to kindergarten and kid-kid didn’t).  And that boyfriend title stuck, as Cale also stuck around for a second year of pre-k.  I made sure to grab a quick photo of the two of them on their way into the school for their pre-k graduation.  All dressed up, and SUPER cute:

Lily-Ann & Cale

Lily-Ann & Cale – a couple of cuties

Lastly is the girl with her best bud from this year.  Parker is seriously the sweetest little boy ever.  He helps Lily-Ann with her fear of heights, always waits for her to make sure she hasn’t gotten herself into trouble, and is by her side about 80% of the time.  He really is such a huge sweetheart.  I’m so glad she’s got a friend in him.  🙂  So, I had to make sure to grab a shot of them after their grad:

Lily-Ann & Parker - so totally adorable and sweet

Lily-Ann & Parker – a mom can’t help but hope he makes it out of the “friend zone” some day.

 

So thanks for sticking with me through this video and photo laden post.  It was a very special day for the girl and us.  Can’t believe she’ll be on her way to kindergarten this Autumn.  I blinked and my baby girl is already a school kid.  How exactly does that happen?

The Kaminski Family – a photography preview

As I was working through some of my enhancements, I realized that it’s been a while since I’d posted a preview here.  I’m terrible for that.  LOL  I go in streaks where I’ll share photos on a regular basis, and then nothing for a good long while.  I’ll try to be more regular about it, but feel free to remind me if you haven’t seen anything for a while.  I am shooting, I just don’t always think to share on the blog.

I enjoyed working with the Kaminski’s.  Any chance to work with a family that includes four leggers as well as two leggers is always a good time.  No, working with animals isn’t easy, but it’s a challenge I really enjoy.  I know dogs, I love dogs…  and I’m perfectly content to wait for them to give me exactly what I need.  Hmmm…  clearly I’m too tired to be writing this blog post as I’ve completely lost my train of thought.  It’s just one of those days – and I have a feeling it will be one of those weeks.  Gotta love getting ready (physically and mentally) for an out of town dog show.

Ah!  Speaking of which!

I’ll be in Regina this weekend.  And I may have time to fit in ONE more photo shoot.  So if you’d like to grab that slot, drop me a line by filling out the booking form at TD Photography (http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/) as soon as possible, and I’ll do my best to work it out.  As I’ll be in Regina already, there will be no additional travel expenses to cover.  Just the regular session fee.  But better be quick!  Like I said, I’ll only have time for ONE additional shoot.

Okay, onto the preview:

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Dreams Dashed, Just Like That.

Just like that, a dream I’ve held for the last half a decade have been dashed.  My heart is more than a little broken.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I began dreaming of the day I could take my little one with me traveling to dog shows.  I know so many moms who take their infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children, and teens with them on the road…  and they all absolutely love it.

When Lily-Ann was born, I knew she wasn’t the type of baby who could go to a dog show.  If she wasn’t being held she’d cry.  And there was no way for her to be the constant focus of attention at a show.

When she was a toddler, nothing had changed.  And I envied those parents who’s little ones would nap in a stroller while they did their “down and back”.  You put Lily in a stroller and even if she was previously tired, she’d pop up alert and ready to go knowing that something must be going on.  She was a baby and toddler who was WORN not put in a stroller or bucket – so if she was in one of those places she knew something interesting had to be happening.  She also had stopped napping at 11 months old, which didn’t help matters.

As a pre-schooler she LOVES dog shows.  She made her debut as a junior handler at the SKOC show last Summer:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/junior-handling-debut/  And was just awesome.  But she’s still a high needs kid, that hasn’t changed.  She needs your focus at least 95% of the time.  She proved that to me tonight.

I knew she couldn’t handle traveling to dog shows when she was little…  but I’d hoped that by the time she was five it would be a very real possibility.  Tonight though?  Tonight was a disaster.  It took everything in me not to completely lose my cool and fall apart.

We were at handling class…  the first time I’d taken her to handling class.  Usually it’s just me, the dog, and sometimes my younger sister Jewles.  With the dog show in Saskatoon this weekend, and Lily having never worked with Alice before, I thought the two of them could stand to have some practice with one another.

Lily-Ann was obnoxious.  She managed to get through about five minutes before she kept announcing that she was bored and thirsty and wanted a treat – over and over again.  She wouldn’t listen to instruction (from myself OR the instructor).  So after she finished one trip around the ring, I set her up on the sidelines with treats and my phone (on which she has nine or ten apps).  And I went back in to practice with Alice.

That didn’t work either.

The kid kept running back and forth in and out of the ring, disrupting everyone.  So after repeated attempts to get her to listen and just sit down for even five minutes, I packed it in.  Not even half way through the class.  I grabbed all of our stuff and we left.  I have never been so embarrassed in my life.  Her behaviour was atrocious.  Not only did she ignore me when I repeatedly told her to stay out of the ring when it wasn’t her turn, she ignored the instructor as well – who told her to “get out” when it was obvious she wouldn’t listen to me.

So yeah.  Embarrassed by how awful she behaved (seriously, she was shockingly awful, I’ve never seen her behave even close to this before…  ever), and brokenhearted to know I will likely never be able to trust her enough to take her with me…  to enjoy something together that I love so much.  Maybe by the time she’s in high school…  but certainly not before.  I’ll probably still let her do junior handling whenever there’s a show in the city – so twice a year.  But she’ll never get the experience to do well when she can only participate so infrequently and when she’s not able to attend classes between shows.

Yep.  It’s just not going to happen.  She loves showing.  Absolutely loves being in the ring, in the spotlight…  which only makes it harder to bear, and harder to understand.

Seriously…  I can’t even express how awful she was tonight.  We’re not talking just silly little kid antics.  I’ve come to expect those.  But constantly ignoring everything anyone said to her???  yeah, that’s not cool.  And yes… I realize that at this point, I’m starting to ramble.  But it really was the WORST parenting experience of my entire life.  Don’t even ask me how the drive home afterwards went.  Good freakin’ grief.

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