Tuesday, March 2, 2010

sharing dreams: my daughter and me

So, Abigail came home from her ballet class last night and very proudly produced this note for us to read:We have known this day has been coming - and soon. It has been indeed a "much anticipated day." I am so excited for her to get her first pointe shoes. So excited that she has come this far. Zac and I have often discussed how far we would want her to continue in ballet - and we knew that she may not be able to continue as far as she'd like just because of the extreme time and cost commitment it requires. It just becomes too much when there are 3 more kids tagging behind that want to do their own activities and pursue their own hobbies. At some point, we have to kind of "level the playing field" and give each child a chance to have some reasonable outlets. Our resources would not support a budding ballerina, unfortunately. And we have known this from the start. But I thought it would be nice for Abigail to take dance for at least as long as I did, which was until about 6th grade. Of course, I was forced to quit for reasons also out of my control - and I always regretted it.

But dancing has also always been a source of joy and an important part of who I am, even if only dancing around my bedroom or imagining choreography in my head. I started on pointe when I was 10 and have always kept my toe shoes. Abigail recently asked me to dig them out so she could try them on (and we laughed because her feet are bigger than mine were at her age - I guess that means she's going to be taller than me! Lucky girl). And I took ballet, folk dance and social dance in college and have taken some adult ballet classes in recent years. Even though my body betrays me in so many ways, it is still so much fun.

Anyway - so now comes the dilemma. Zac took a paycut Jan 1st and we had already decided that Abigail would have to drop ballet after her spring recital. We are struggling to keep her in that long, but she has been so looking forward to the solo she is going to have, I really didn't want to take that from her. And now. She will be just getting pointe shoes right before she has to quit. So. Do we spend the $100 for the toe shoes that she will only be able to use for probably a couple months anyhow? A little ache somewhere deep in my heart says 'yes'. But man oh man, our budget really pushes to say 'no way, jose.' And I feel bad for "making her quit." I am sad that she won't be able to continue something she loves and enjoys. But I guess we just can't do what we cannot do.

So, not only will she not be able to live out my own dreams vicariously, I am repeating the cycle of dashing her own dreams.
I hope she'll forgive me one day, as I had to, too - but also that she will continue to be blessed by the years she learned to dance, as I have been.


Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry. That is so tough. Have you ever talked to her about it? Maybe if you include her in the discussion it won't be so difficult for her to stop. If she feels that you are including her in the problem maybe she will feel some ownership in the decision. Although that could backfire and she could end up begging you to let her keep dancing. Good luck.

Colleen said...

So sad! I've been hesitating to comment because I just didn't know what to say. It's awful that you know just how difficult this will be for her, but maybe if you tell her about your experience, it will make things easier for her. Or maybe not. I don't know. :(

Amy said...

I wish that I had some great advice or a solution for you but all I can send are my prayers and hugs.

Alyssa said...

SO sorry...have you made the final call on the decision? I know you all would enjoy seeing her progress through dance. You have no doubt seen the ways it has added to her self-esteem. It is wonderful for her to have found something she loves and is good at. just an idea((( I know there is a girl at our gym who has help form her extended family to keep her in training and competion. I honestly had never thought of doing that, but, I guess the family and close friends are very happy to support her dream. When everyone gives a little it ends up to be a lot)))...again just an idea. Sad news but, I am sure you have carefully considered your options and know as her mother what would be best for all involved. I know you loved dancing too!

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