The Princess is well known for her reticence. She’s one who studies the situation carefully and, six months later, if she’s comfortable, she’ll start to interact with the kids and adults in said situation. She’s extremely confident, outgoing and talkative at home but is still practicing interacting with the rest of the world. We’re encouraging but not demanding about it. Emotions of all kind tend to overwhelm her.
I wasn’t sure how she’d react to her first ballet class. When we went to Target to buy her leotard, tights and shoes she was so overwhelmed with the idea that she could hardly make eye contact with me. The day of the first class she was twirling and screeching with abandoned excitement all morning, right up until we got in the car. And then she was silent, wrapped up carefully in her thoughts.
We arrived early so that we could check out the classroom without an audience. She was happily intrigued with the bar and mirrors. Finally, little girls started showing up and, with eyes carefully watching the activity, she quickly put on her shoes. Then she straightened her back, picked up her chin, and walked into that classroom like she owned it. As she crossed the threshold she turned and waved with a smile and then sailed into a conversation between two other little girls and proceeded to lead them all in some graceful little girl stretches and races until the teacher arrived.
Parents were allowed to watch the first class so we sat at the edge of the room as ten little girls turned into graceful ballerinas and I snapped picture after picture of The Princess’ back, completely forgotten as she concentrated on first position and leaping across the room. It was breathtaking to see a glimpse of the confident woman she’s going to become.
And then when we had to leave, all of the emotions and adrenaline from the day came crashing down and she reminded me that she’s just four years old (thank goodness!) with a screaming tantrum as I carried her to the car.