The Pointe 9:55 AM

I sat on the bench waiting for my daughter to emerge from the ballet studio door.  Smiles burst forth as the class moved from the studio to the dressing room.  Seeing me she ran over...

"We need to buy Pointe shoes!"  Delight sparkled from every centimeter of her being.  Pointe shoes.  For a year she has worked hard to arrive at this point - the moment when it is her turn to go to the shop to be fit for Pointe shoes.

At the shop she removed her shoes and put on the sample tights.

"You're feet are perfect." her classmate commented.  My daughter has moved from the wide feet of a child to the narrow, bony and muscular feet of a dancer... or the beginnings of such feet.

"When you put on the shoes, put your feet straight in..."  The shop owner held the shoe as my daughter slipped the shoe on to her foot.

Both shoes on, she stood on Pointe.

Both shoes on, she moved to the mirror and stood.

For the few seconds she looked at herself, she shone.  The happiness filled the room as her excitement crowded any feelings of shock I experienced.

The other mothers and I chatted, discussing, together, how we had not looked forward to this day.  How it was exciting to dance on Pointe and yet we feared that the Pointe shoes, like the character shoes, would end up spending most of their time in the ballet bag.

That said, my daughter's joy and excitement... well, they were worth every cent I paid for those shoes.  The site of her, standing before the mirror in her shoes... the knowledge that she is moving that much closer to a dream... those things are beyond imagination.  There isn't a dollar amount that could be placed on such experiences.

While other parents wait decades to watch their children work toward dreams and goals, I am witnessing it first hand now, while she is still a child.  By the age of 20, this dream will have been changed or fulfilled with a new destination in her sights. 

Today, as is happening more often than ever of late, I saw my daughter grow up just a little.  I saw her stand taller and straighter.  I heard her recognize that there is a need for her to work that much harder in class.  I had another glimpse of the woman that she may become.

"You get so caught up in the drama of ballet," a friend commented.

I am not sure whether it is that I am caught in the drama of ballet or that I am drawn to the light that is my daughter and the unfolding of her dream.  She has worked so hard to get to this point – I am so very proud of her but hope more that she recognizes all that she has done and is doing and is proud of herself.