Eden completed her first year of ballet by performing in Sleeping Beauty. We were so proud of how hard she worked all year, showing persistence and commitment that surprised us. Truth be told is that ballet twice a week is not all fun and games. They do the same stretches and routines each and every practice. They are expected not to talk but to concentrate and work hard the whole time. I didn't exactly think Eden would last, but she absolutely did.

Her hard work paid off with a performance. Honestly, we had no idea how big of a deal this performance was, how much money it would cost or how much of our life it would overtake in that last month! The ballet world is all new to me and I gained a lot of insight into what they talk about when they reference "dance moms." These moms came prepared with sewing needles, sequins and glitter to every photo shoot and performance. These moms had strong opinions about how many extra beads should be sewn on each gown and exactly what a squirrel's tale should look like. They coached their daughters hard, reapplied their lipstick between every scene and were extremely upset when we didn't get more time in rehearsal to perfect the spacing between the girls. In my head I was all, "They're 5 & 7 year olds, aren't they cute regardless, amiright?" Outloud I said nothing and let these forces of nature run their world their way.

I won't soon forget the experience of cramming 9 girls, 9 mothers and all the costumes into a 5'x10' room for three hours, during which we were expected to keep the girls completely quiet and spend over half the time in the dark so as not to distract from the performance. It took about 3 months of the glittler that a mom added to Eden's hair to come out and I definitely felt like a circus attraction as the ladies took the opportunity to ask us about every aspect of being North American, about the peanut butter Eden was eating, etc.

Despite being a massive amount of time and energy on my part (Nate and I are so used to sharing responsibility but dad's were NOT allowed backstage) it was super sweet to do that fully together with Eden. She was composed through the whole thing, never complaining about extra rehearsals. Abuelo and Abuela made sure their trip was over the show weekend, which was super special, and the Passmores and EBB all came to watch her. I was so thankful for our village to celebrate her moments with her. She blew me away with her composure and stage presence, as I had fully expected her to have a serious face onstage and possibly watch me off stage while she danced. But she knew she was on and she faced forward with a smile and kept her concentration completely. Definitely a heart feeling full in my chest moment. She was exhausted but exhilirated by 10pm when the performance ended. Sweetest of all was how incredibly proud Canaan was of her. He is great at celebrating others. We celebrated the next day with lunch out, eating milanesas, after church.

 

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"Ardilla" costume

 

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"Nina de la corte" costume

 

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