Monday, December 15, 2014

I Cried in a Garage...and My Daughter Danced

Somehow, being a parent reminds me of every negative and bad thing that happened in my own life.
While I do realize that it is not all about me, it happens nonetheless.  

For example...

Circa 1984 (roughly) It is time to go to her dance lesson at Merritt Dance Studio, Albany St., Schenectady, NY but...

Little Lorraine Griesemer cries in her garage.

She doesn't want to go to her dance lesson.  She hasn't made friends.  She is teased.  She is taller than the other children and has big feet.  

End of year show...she is wearing a head band and leg warmers and the performance song is "Let's Get Physical" by Olivia Newton John.

YUP  I'm not making this up.  I did a summersault on a mat.  (See how much it still bothers me? I couldn't even talk about it in first person).

I really don't know why I even took dance lessons.  I don't know exactly how old I was.  I just remember crying in the garage and feeling alone and not having a good experience at all.  

Fast forward to present day...

This is my only daughter, Carmen...

Carmen loves to dance...

Carmen in the Making Spirits Bright show with Valley Dance Theatre (she is on the far left)

There were two shows Saturday, one at 2PM and one at 6PM.  Carmen thought two shows meant the two numbers she was in so imagine her surprise and joy when she found out after the first show that she was going to do the whole thing again!

Photo credit Brooke Driver (Carmen's dance teacher)

My children after Carmen's first performance Saturday.  Emmett was happy to give her the flowers from all of us. We are so happy our foster daughter, Pilar could come, too! 

She was so happy to see our dear friends, Howard and Jennifer.  And she even received flowers from our friends, Anita and Randy, too! 

I took her to celebrate her first time on stage at Chik fil a.  She was falling asleep at the table!

And here is Carmen 5 minutes after we got home.  I came home to find her cousin, Millie and Daddy passed out on the couch and she fit right in. :)  Yay!! Millie made two blog posts in a row!  We were so happy to have her here this weekend AND to watch my blog post stats with me!  
The point is...Carmen is a happy girl.  She has passion, determination, and spirit.  
When we were leaving the Saturday night, she asked, "When is my next performance, Mommy?"  

WOW.  I would have NEVER asked that.  I was not jumping up and down for joy at the thought of dancing to Olivia Newton John.  In fact, I don't remember EVER doing anything I loved that much as a child.  Well, other than eating the Minute Rice with tons of butter on it and eating all the marshmallows out of a bowl of Lucky Charms.  But, I digress.  You will be treated to a emotional eating blog post at some point in the near emotional future.  

So I think I figured out the reason why I remember so many negative things that happened to me as a child while I navigate through this journey of parenthood.  It is because there is always room to live vicariously through your child so you can relive the moments that upset you therefore bringing balance to the universe.   Oh wait, no!  I'm just kidding. 

It is so I can live, laugh and love with my daughter and my whole family because no matter what sad, negative, scary thing happened to me as child, I was loved too.  If I wasn't, I would never even know how to to show it to my children.  Knowing the feeling of negative and sad things as a child makes me more aware of my own children's experiences.  This can bring about good in their lives.  That makes me happy.

So here's to all those exhausting, event filled weekends with my family.  I may not know where to start in getting my house back together after such an event filled weekend, but I made more memories with my family.  

As I watched Carmen up there on stage, I loved her even more than I ever thought I could have.  To see her so happy is a joy.  I didn't care how exhausted I was. When I saw that she saw me, I could have just melted away like Frosty when the sun came out.  Her smile was priceless and she had the time of her life.  

I hope you get to have those moments with your children and all those you love.  

I also hope you never cried in a garage.  

And if you did, I hope it made you be a better parent.  Everything can, you know.  It's all in how you look at it.  

That garage I cried in as a child is no longer standing.  I am happy to report that neither is that confused, insecure, bullied girl.  

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