If you were reading my blog last week, you know that a mystery virus hit our family, and it was touch and go whether or not M-girl was going to be well in time for her dance recital. When she was very sick and miserable with a raging fever, she didn't care one way or the other. After a few endless days though, her fever dropped. She was still fighting a lingering, awful cough, but she was determined to make it to the show.
Personally I was exhausted after a solid week of getting up at least once per night to care for a sick child. It reminded me of the exhaustion of being a mother to a newborn, only worse because I have more demands on my time than I did when my children were newborns. I tried persuading M-girl that she was still weak, and the coughing fits were really debilitating. Maybe, I suggested to her, the showcase just wasn't meant to happen for her this year.
One thing about my daughter is that beneath her golden hair and sweet little face, she is one stubborn child. The very act of telling her that she can't do so something that she feels strongly about is tantamount to throwing down a gauntlet for her. She will prove that she can.
Now before you start questioning my and my hubby's judgement, according to the doctor she stopped being contagious as soon as the fever was gone. I would never subject my sick child to the general public. My big concern was that M-girl was just plain worn out after almost a week of being sick, and her resistance was low.
I had already been in touch with the dance school's director, letting him know that M-girl might not be able to perform. He said that if she could make it to the dress rehearsal, she could dance in the show.
On the day of the dress rehearsal, I decided to have her dance for five minutes straight. If she could do it without coughing, she could go to the dress rehearsal. She did it...and then proceeded to have a coughing fit.
BadDad drove her up to the rehearsal, where she did just fine. When the first performance day dawned, she was still determined to go. I helped her to get ready, all the while fighting with my motherly instincts that were telling me to shelter her, and keep her home. I made sure to tell her teacher that she had been ill, and left to find my seat, knowing that she was in good hands, and yet wanting to be holding her myself.
Finally the lights in the theater dimmed, and the music started. Out danced eight, little girls in pink, in two even rows, M-girl among them. Her smile lit up the stage. My heart danced with her, as she executed the steps that her class had practiced so many times. Probably no one else in the audience noticed that she was still looking thin and pale. The sparkle in her eyes made up for it anyway.
When the show was over she was tired, but she immediately began her campaign to be allowed to perform in the second show, the following day. I found myself struggling with my instincts to protect her again, and I wanted to say no. One look at the pride on her face made me realize that she needed to do this. All her life she will have obstacles to overcome. Sometimes they will seem insurmountable. If she realizes at such a young age that sheer determination can make all the difference between success and failure, she will do well in life. She surely will.
linking to: Yeah Write ; Pour Your Heart Out ; Proud Mommy Moments