Please humor me while I share a story that will portray me to be the biggest sap in the world… which I am on occasion. 🙂
When I went to the gender ultrasound to find out if Hadley was a boy or a girl, I really, really did not care either way. I also didn’t have a gut feeling either way, so my nerves were through the roof with excitement. Hadley finally showed herself, and the moment the tech said “You’re having a little girl!” I surprised myself by bursting into an ocean of tears. When I heard the word “girl” I just looked at my mom (who was with me since Jamie was in Afghanistan) and thought of all that my life would hold raising a daughter. One of the images I envisioned was a future dance recital.
And this weekend that fuzzy image in my head four years ago became a reality as I sat holding Jamie’s hand watching our big, brave, beautiful girl walk out on stage with all of her little friends and dance to “Itty Bitty Pretty One”.
We knew her recital date back in the fall, so her grandparents had plenty of time to plan to all come up from Texas and Alabama to join us for the weekend. My dad unfortunately had a last-minute major work conflict, so he was pretty down and out about missing it. I assured him there will be more. 🙂 Shortly after we found out the recital date we also found out Jamie’s training schedule dates and realized that he would likely miss her recital by just a few days. We were really bummed about it, but I moved forward with planning to entertain our families solo while Jamie never gave up hope that some way, some how he would make it home in time.
My mom flew into Manhattan on Wednesday night, and she helped me get ready to receive my in-laws who arrived Friday afternoon.
Friday was rainy and cold, so we ordered pizza and enjoyed each others’ company before crashing after watching a re-run of 20/20. I honestly couldn’t wait to go to bed because I knew that Jamie was, in fact, en route home, and I knew the sooner I went to bed, the sooner he’d be home. He was supposed to get home around 6:00 a.m. and kept me updated the whole way. I was bright-eyed by 4:00 just ready to see him again. These reunions (even if the separation was only for a short five weeks) never get old.
He got in around 6:30, and by 7 he was bursting to see the girls. I told him to hide under the covers, and I went into Hadley’s room to wake her up and carried her into my bed to snuggle (something that’s not abnormal to her). She had no idea he was home! I told her to pull back the covers, and she started crying as soon as she saw Jamie and wouldn’t let him go. My mom was listening from across the hall, and she said it broke her heart listening to how much she missed him. It was one of those moments that I wish I would have recorded because it was so incredibly sweet, but sometimes it’s so nice to just keep those special moments private. I then grabbed Sadie, and we spent about 10 minutes just snuggling as a family before emerging to see the rest of our families (who all stayed at our house throughout the weekend).
The rest of Saturday was a little wild!
Hadley had to have her hair and makeup done for her dress rehearsal that morning, so we immediately got up and started getting ready.
My mom came with me to her dress rehearsal while Jamie and his parents hung back with Sadie.
My mom was so cute the entire day. She was just beaming watching Hadley.
We got home early afternoon, and everyone took advantage of relaxing inside for a few hours since it was such an oddly cold day. Around 4:30 everybody started getting ready, and I did Hadley’s hair and makeup one more time. She’s such a girly girl and especially loved the makeup part. She got a little wiggly getting her hair curled this time, but she could sit and play with makeup all day!
My mom made everyone quick sub sandwiches since we were all running around getting ready and too busy to sit down and eat a big meal together. My mother-in-law was also busy cleaning up after everyone, letting me fully focus on getting Hadley ready to go. It takes a village!
We hit the road around 6 p.m., and everyone was so excited!
I dropped her off in her dressing room and met our families in the lobby, who had already picked up our tickets at Will Call as well as the flowers we’d ordered ahead of time. Hadley’s dance studio made all of this so incredibly easy! You can tell they’ve done this recital thing a time or two. 🙂
Jamie and I were like giddy little kids waiting for the recital to start. We were laughing at ourselves for how excited doing all of this for the first time made us. 🙂 I was also relieved beyond belief that he was able to share in this joy with me. We truly thought for 6+ months that he wouldn’t get home until Monday (two days after the recital). The fact that he made it with 12 hours to spare is a military miracle!
After it was all over, I ran down to get her from her dressing room and then we went back to find everyone in the lobby. She bolted to her dad!
Our girls are two very loved little munchkins.
If any of you happen to be preschool dance teachers, GOD BLESS YOU! How these teachers teach little two year old and three year old kids to remember a lengthy dance routine is BEYOND ME. Sure enough, Hadley knew the whole stinkin’ thing and did great! The majority of the Saturday recital was the little kids (probably six years old and under), and it was a RIOT. My stomach was hurting from laughter immediately after the first dance. Watching these little kids on stage was the sweetest, most hilarious site! Such an enjoyable night.
Oh, my heart.
I’m still just smiling from what a great evening it was. Sadly we likely won’t be in Kansas this time next year, so I think Hadley will miss out on being in a recital next year. 🙁 She’s signed up to dance next year though for as long as we’re here so that she can continue to learn skills, and while I’m looking forward to her returning to dance class, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to have a summer off from these kinds of activities. Ha. 🙂
Did you ever take dance? Do your kids take dance? Can you relate to my excitement?!