We were informed at 8:04 p.m. of an approaching performance. While I waited for my baked potato to reach appropriate smushiness during a YOYO dinner night, as my mom would say – You’re On Your Own – I was rushed to the viewing gallery (i.e. the living room couch).
An appropriately twirly dress was donned and Daddy was prompted to cue the music. The seven year old swept into the room, twirling and painstakingly pointing her toes as I’m sure she envisioned a proper prima donna might dance. Much time was spent admiring the rustle of the netting under the dress which caused it to flounce like a proper crinoline. Much time was spent admiring the flip of her just-smoothed hair.
The girl spun, leaped, swayed and generally choreographed as the song progressed, all with much seriousness and drama.
In nine weeks, she will turn eight years old. In nine years, she’ll be approaching seventeen. She could well be preparing to attend the first dance of her junior year of high school. I could well be having a heart attack on that same night.
I wonder if she’ll have the same shy smile, if she’ll nervously smooth her skirt, if she’ll summon her Dad and me again to the same living room, but this time swoop and twirl out into the world and leave us behind. I wonder if her little sister, who’ll be on the cusp of turning ten, will stare at her with admiring eyes. I wonder if time will pass like molasses on that night. I wonder if she’ll go to the dance with the right kind of man, and if she’ll eventually marry one.
I wonder if I’ll be able to handle it all.