I’m really torn. We are getting to the point in the year that I just want it to be competition season. Costumes have been ordered (some are even in). Numbers are finished and being cleaned. I just want to watch some dance. Luckily, we have two performances coming up in the next month, but still… for a competition junkie like myself, nothing beats spending hundreds of dollars in entry fees, hotel fees, and gas money and spending 2 or 3 days in a dark auditorium eating stale Cheez-its and drinking lukewarm water from a bottle that may or may not be mine (because after a few hours, there are half empty water bottles everywhere). But, here’s where I’m torn. My oldest dancer is a junior. She’s almost done with competition dance. I still have two younger dancers, but it will never be the same without all of my girls. So, I don’t want to rush it. But yet… maybe March can just hurry up and get here and THEN time can slow down. I hate winter anyway.
I love the rush of quick changes, the boredom of having hours between numbers, cheering for solos, checking out the costumes from other studios, trying to calculate if we have enough time to eat a real meal before the next number, carrying 9 Starbucks orders in one hand, watching the kids swim together at the hotel, scoping out other dancers at the hotel breakfast. I want to sit on the floor with an overpriced program and a highlighter and frantically search for a free outlet to charge my phone. I love sitting in the dressing room and watching the dancers interact with each other. Dressing room conversations between the dancers or with my fellow moms or teachers are some of my happiest memories.
Competitions are one of the few times that I can say I enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn and staying up until midnight or later multiple days in a row. We are all always tired as we drive two or three hours home at midnight on a Sunday night – but it’s precious time with my dancers that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There’s something special about the whine of a 7 year old who has been at the venue all day, the look of frustration in the mom’s eyes. I just want to tell her to enjoy it. Because it’s not going to last forever. But I won’t. Because I’ve been there too and I don’t want to get smacked. ;-)
I’ve promised myself I won’t rush it. We’ll enjoy the time between now and March. But what I wouldn’t give to be in a dark room with stage lights, smelly kids, rhinestones, and flustered stage moms. It’s my favorite thing.
p.s. I've taken a page from a friend of mine who just moved her and some of her children ACROSS THE GLOBE for a yet undetermined amount of time. She said she's not going to worry her life away. She said she is going to "live in the moment rather than dissolving it by obsessing about the future and needing to know with a surety what that will look like." She's wise. I want to follow her lead. So, if you see me playing with a tube of E6000 or trying to hang a one legged, strapless costume onto a hanger for fun, remind me. :-)