Posted by Tobi-Dawne
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.
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.