Saying goodbye to anything or anyone that's been a part of your life for what seems like forever, can be so very hard. It can be difficult to find the beauty in saying goodbye.
For my new readers, you wouldn't know this, but my daughter, who is 16, has been dancing since she was 3. It is her gift, her talent; she has raw talent--she is a massively amazing (does that make sense?) dancer. She has always loved dance, but it has always been my dream.
Madelynn's 2010 Recital
Her physical strength and spiritual strength, blow my mind.
Her form amazes me, my best friend is a dancer and her biggest fan next to me!
Madelynn had been telling me for 3 years straight that she had so much pain while on Pointe, but I didn't want to hear it. She is such a beautiful dancer, I wanted her to keep pushing through it. I didn't think it could hurt that bad. So she stuck with it, yet another year, on top of doing Lyrical and being in Show Choir at school. I wouldn't consider myself a "dance mom" at all though. I just love seeing my daughter dance. As a writer, I can't think of words to describe how I feel when it comes to seeing her on stage.
Smiling through the pain.
SO, a few days ago, she told me she was retiring as a Pointe' dancer. She was hanging up the good ol' wooden shoes.
Madelynn at her 2011 Recital
Proud Mama, me!
As you could imagine, I was crushed, but not surprised. Honestly? It kills me that she is retiring. I will miss it SO much. I want her to stay with it more than other activity or practice she does. But here are the 2 things I find beautiful about her retiring, well, actually there are 3:
1.) She was able to come to me and tell me she was done! That is hugely beautiful, because a lot of girls my be too afraid to come to their Mom's with something like this, especially because she knows how in love with Pointe I am. Madelynn felt safe to share.
2.) I didn't make it about ME. Sure I held in a lot of what I was thinking and feeling, but I listened and I cared more about what she had to say and why she was retiring than about what I wanted.
3.) She's going out with a BANG! She had a great 3 year run, and I am SO PROUD that she did it for the short time that she did. It's not her dream, she doesn't see any reason to continue with her feet in the shape they are in. She's a wise girl.
Always has a smile on her face
Getting fitted for Pointe shoes
The good news is is that her feet will get a break and hopefully be rested well and out of pain. And the other good news? I don't have to spend $150 a year on the good ol' wooden shoes anymore. AND she's still going to do Ballet!
I think these are good lessons for me to learn as a Mother. I can accept and LISTEN to what Madelynn has to say. I think she would have retired last year if I hadn't pushed her, OR if I had listened to her when she started really telling me about her feet (I'm sorry honey)!
So I know it might be hard, but if you are faced with having to say goodbye to someone or something--see if there is any way to find beauty in it, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in what you seek and find.