Monday, September 26, 2011

Tiny Dancer

I am the oldest of three. This was both a blessing and a curse growing up.


A curse in that being the oldest means you are your parents' guinea pig. Whatever rules and regulations don't work out with you end up getting tossed out with the younger kids, who live a decidedly more carefree existence.

A blessing in that I was the boss. I directed the "plays" we put on, I was always the princess while my sister was demoted to "duchess" (which I assured her was better than a princess), I teased my brother mercilessly, and I evicted my sister's Barbies to the roof of the dollhouse (I told her it was an apartment) so that I could have the other two floors to myself. I was truly a joy to experience childhood with.

In comparison, I'd say that Michaela Byrd has it pretty good. Natalie occasionally makes her be a cat when they play, but they get along pretty nicely when it's not after 4 pm.

Michaela Byrd's sole complaint was most recently when we took Natalie for the first day of ballet class and she realized that she was not going to be attending class as well. My friends, the dramatic performance she put on in the parking lot was nothing short of Oscar-worthy. Wailing, with big alligator tears, "But I want to daaaaance."

I felt like the most evil heartless mother in the world. How do you explain to a three year old the economy and the concept of money and the fact that it (unfortunately) doesn't grow on trees? So I distracted her with snacks and Barbies and coloring books until we could get home and I could tell T that we needed to reevaluate the budget.

Then we went out and shopped for some new ballet slippers (her play ones from home were too small), and a new black leotard small enough to fit a child whose caloric intake is smaller than a caterpillar's.

And Wednesday was Michaela Byrd's first day of ballet class. She's a little young...my grandmother ran a successful dance studio for many years and would never accept children younger than four for various reasons. But I think if Nannie had been able to come with us last week, she would have made an exception.

Michaela Byrd was in her element. She was in the studio dancing before the instructor had even started class. It was so much fun to watch her follow the movements and have fun with the little musical games they played. They even performed a small recital at the end of class. Her only disappointment was that they "didn't do arabesque."

Arabesque or not, making a little room in the budget was so worth seeing her little face light up when she marched into the studio. And my face lights up whenever I think about it.

29 comments:

  1. Great post! And the pictures really captured her loving the moments. Worth every cent of the budget!

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  2. Oh my gosh! Those pics are just darling! She's so into it, you never know, you might have a real ballerina on your hands :-) Are you planning on taking them to any shows this Christmas? I know the Fred ballet company usually puts on the Nutcracker at MWU. Take care!

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  3. Who could say no to that??? She is just precious. Love the story too. And, I cannot get over how much she looks like you when you were little!! Well worth every penny.

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  4. Oh my word! How precious are those pics! I hated every second of ballet and tap when I was younger, but those pics make me want to rethink things!

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  5. doesn't she look so cute in her ballet outfit? i loved ballet and dance classes when i was younger!

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  6. She is just adorable...what great pictures, Amanda! Especially love the one with her hands on her cheek!!

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  7. oh my goodness, she is just too precious. i love her little poses. btw, i think your girls look just like you, when you were younger. the pic of you reading to your siblings is so sweet. have a wonderful day, Amanda.

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  8. She is such a doll Amanda!! How sweet are those pictures? Hope she has lots of fun. And wow, your girls are a mini-me of you when you were a kid!

    ~ Catie

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  9. Oh my goodness! She is adorable! It was worth the cost of the class to see her all dressed up like that. Too precious!

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  10. So precious! Really, just the sweetest thing :)

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  11. She is so sweet! Eli was in tears the day we picked up Henry and Grant's football equipment! He wanted to play football so bad...he's turned into a pretty good cheerer for his brothers though:)

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  12. That is the sweetest thing! She really does look like she's in her element! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. What a precious little ballerina!!

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  14. What adorable photos! Looks like a great time! I have a girl and a boy so they do not share in the same passions, but with our budget right now we have had to cut corners including some activities being cut.

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  15. Aw! How cute does she look! That's a good mommy. Sometimes you gotta make concessions elsewhere for a happy kiddo. Very cool.

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  16. I love it! The photos are precious! I grew up dancing and loved every minute of it. Now I am enjoying it through my daughter and loving every minute of that too.
    Jennifer

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  17. Wo! I thought that picture of you was your oldest daughter. Crazy. It's so hard being a parent--you want to provide all these opportunities to your children, gymnastics, music lessons, dancing, etc. But who has the time? Let alone the money. You have to pick the ones they are most passionate about and it looks like you did just that.

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  18. Oh, Amanda, I'm so glad! I was the youngest of 5 but was able to take ballet at age 5. Then I quit to take piano like my brothers & sisters. I found dance again at age 25 and it was truly my passion. (still is-just only in my mind;)

    Michaela already has the carriage in her neck and shoulders. It's challenging to teach the 'babies' as we called them, but once in a while someone like Michaela comes along.

    I hope she continues to love it as much as I do!

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  19. oh my GOODNESS, what precious photos! Thanks for sharing this with us, and....I'm off to sign my little one up for a dance class. Now.

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  20. Could she BE any cuter? She looks like she's a natural. And so happy!

    And I'm shocked by how much you looked like your girls do. Wow! I thought that was a picture of one of your girls at the beginning.

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  21. Your girls are a mirror image of you! I thought the first picture was of your daughter and then I read on and realized it was a picture of you, amazing. Being a parent is nothing but sacrifices but well worth it. Look how she is enjoying her ballet. Your a good mom Amanda, lots of other moms wouldn't of given up their starbucks for their daughter's ballet LOL {don't know where you cut the budget, but that is where I would have to pull the money from}

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  22. Such cute pictures. My 3 yr old recently started dance & loves it too.

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  23. These pictures are too precious. And the 2nd one from that end...she looks professional! I love watching the little kids dance/run around the stage/wave to mom and dad at my sister's dance recitals. :)

    Oldest of 3 here, too, and I also directed our plays and made my brother get the crappy Barbie furniture when he would agree to play with me. No wonder he generally didn't want to...

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  24. Oh. . . Believe it or not, I literally just said "Ohhh" out loud as I looked at the photos of Michaela Byrd in her darling little leotard and ballet slippers. I think maybe there's something about her with her hair up that just melts your heart. Both your girls are so beautiful--but honestly, that photo of you with your sister and brother looks just like one of your girls!! It's easy to see where they get their looks. :)

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  25. Hello! I'm new to your blog, but I've gotta say, this was so cool! She's clearly a natural- it must be in the blood ;). SO Adorable, thanks for sharing!!

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  26. Making room in the budget for dance classes was worth any sacrifice you may have to make. You can tell by the joyous expression on her face that she absolutely loves this class! She is a doll!

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  27. I love that you're the oldest child too. I'm in the same boat of being the oldest, but of 3 girls. There was always the good, the bad, and the in between. Being one of several kids is good because you're never alone growing up. The pictures of your daughter are so sweet! I can't wait to get my 2 year old in dance classes next year :)

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  28. oh she looks every bit the ballerina... beautiful! and i just bet you Nannie would have made that exception!!

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