Friday, April 30, 2010


With April my heart is stirred with memories of remembered sounds. Stiff, itchy, nylon crinkling; tots being quietly hustled; serious adults directing the backstage bustle; tiny, nervous, giddy girls giggling; restrained, backstage, muffled tapping; lithe, solemn girls' delicate swooshing; and finally, enthusiatic applause still echo in my heart.

From the time our little girl was three, we were immersed in the annual dance recital ritual. Nerves weren't a problem for our little girl. In her first recital, she stole the show. Dancing in her little mouse costume, her blond curls glistening in the stage lights, she pranced around the stage with her classmates. As she left the stage, she stopped and signed "I Love You" to her Nana, and of course her parents. This unrehearsed act brought the house down. Well, honestly, how couldn't it? She smiled that winning smile and then pranced off the stage. Although the recital continued for the next couple of hours, the star had already performed.

Each year the dances became more complicated, the costumes more mature, the parents more involved and the talent more appreciated. What didn't change from that very first dance recital, was Nana sitting as close to the stage as possible. In her eyes, our daughter's dancing was the best, her talent the brightest and her beauty the purest.

To this day, we all hold the dance recitals as sweetest memories. Traditions were established that still are remembered. We were driving together the other day and our daughter caught sight of a familiar place, "I remember when Nana would take me to Dairy Queen for a banana split after recitals."

Although our little girl is now a mom herself, she is still Nana's little mouse who signed, "I love you" and brought down the house, so very long ago.

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