Friday, June 20, 2008

I must be a dance mom

I am the least girly-girl person you could ever hope to meet (well, except for the purse fetish). I don't wear make-up. Doing my hair consists of brushing it when I get out of the shower and letting it air dry while I'm on my errands. If I want you to see my calves (which look pretty nice and muscular if I do say so myself), I wear shorts, not a skirt. I think high heels and most any fashionable shoe is an instrument of torture. Manicures and pedicures are not on my radar; actually I cut my nails the minute they start getting too long. I am really not girly.

So how on earth did I end up with a girly-girl whose great love in life is dancing? Genetics are a funny, funny thing. Suffice it to say my mother is thrilled to have girly granddaughters (my niece lives in her pink dresses and tiaras) since she suffered through years of two tomboy daughters herself. The problem with this whole skip a generation femininity thing though, is that as a mom, I am not very good at teaching or doing the things that make a girly-girl kid happy. This is never more evident than this time of year when I am in the midst of dance recital Hades.

But you can always teach an old dog new tricks, right? After 6 years of a dancing daughter, I can get R.'s lovely curly hair into a reasonably smooth, slicked back bun with no whispies. I am still frequently at a loss with the make-up but we've come up with our own ways of coping with that and at least I now know what eye primer is and how to use it (not on myself though, perish the thought!!!). So generally R. looks pretty put together and decent for her competitions and recital at this point. And while I still denigrate my ability to slap a ton of very dramatic stage make-up and falsh eyelashes that would make a street walker proud onto my 9 year old daughter I realized last night, that I am a real dance mom.

I told some of the younger moms who were worried about getting their small fry from pink tights to carmel tights quickly that the trick to that is to layer your tights (wear both pairs and just peel them off as needed to reveal the correct color underneath). I let another mom know that her idea of having her daughter run back to her in the dressing room for a quick change (one short 2-3 minute number between dances) was going to stress them all out more than necessary (and not work) so she should prepare her daughter for a backstage change. I did the eye make-up for another kid whose mom had to work and so couldn't make the show. I helped strip two kids backstage as they were doing quick changes (sometimes it takes 3-4 moms to get the kid from one elaborate costume to another in that short a period of time). I chaperoned 4 different dances. And through it all, I didn't even flinch once. We'll have to see how I do tonight and tomorrow night when R. has two quick changes herself but maybe there's hope for me as the mother of a girly-girl after all.

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