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A Dance Mom Confession

Confession.

I’m a terrified dance mom.

I have a ten-year-old acrobat.  She floats, spins, and flies through life.  Me?  I’m at best a washed up, almost good, “everyone had to play or there weren’t enough people for the team” type of athlete. 

I can set a volleyball (and I have a couple broken finger joints to prove it). I can hit a free throw on a good day when the odds are in my favor, and I might even still be able to run a mile without heaving up a lung.

But this kid of mine.  She is an ATHLETE.  She eats up the weak kids for lunch.  Running the mile at school for P.E. class?  You betcha she’s coming in first (or close to it) and making it known that she beat the boys.  Push-ups?  Try inverted wall push-ups.  Oh, you can do a cartwheel?  She’ll ariel you until your head spins.  Back handspring?  Pftt.  She’ll throw her back tuck on a slippery stage just to prove a point.

She decided she was a dancer when she was two.  Yes, people, two.  I don’t make this stuff up.  She came into my bedroom at 6:00 a.m. on the day of her first ever dance class dressed in her tutu and ready to roll.

Fast forward eight years.

She’s a beast on the stage during hip hop, an angel while she interprets lyrical, sassy as she struts to jazz and man does she kill an acro routine.

Until she doesn’t.

There have been three moments in my mom life where I swear my heart literally stopped inside of my chest. 

The first time was when we were camping and thought our son (about seven at the time) was lost in the forest.  Panic like I’d never felt before.

The second time was when our daughter was doing her dance thing at a private lesson and suddenly got a weird look on her face while doing a hard trick, stopped dancing, sat down and cried.  We thought for sure it was a serious injury.

And then there was that one night…  Have you seen the Matrix?  Because I’m pretty sure that’s what I saw in real life that night.  At first, she was laughing, dancing, and making silly faces, and then she was suspended in mid-air three feet above the ground at a weird angle that no acrobat could recover from.

Thud.

She hit the floor, and I’m pretty sure I hit her side not five seconds after.

The tears and (thank God) minor injuries quickly fade away, but the scene of her falling from midair will forever be etched in my memory. 

I hold my breath when she dances.  I pray when she throws hard tricks. I have minor heart attacks on a weekly basis.

I’ll bet most of you out there do the same.  Maybe you aren’t watching your daughter throw back flips, but I’ll bet you still hold your breath.  Maybe it’s when she is up to bat at the end of a tight softball game.  Maybe it’s the winning shot of a tied basketball game or the football pass that makes or breaks the game. 

That’s what us moms do.  We hold our breath, we say our prayers, and at the end of the day when things don’t go as planned, we bury our fear and tell our kiddos, “It’s okay!  You’re fine!”

Then, when the kids go to bed and the day is done, we cry and give thanks that we managed another day.  That is raw life.

Be grateful, water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

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