It wasn't your first day of school, but it was still a little step down the path of independence. It was your first dance class. We decided together to enroll you in a local dance studio's preschool class for 2.5/3 year olds. You gave us a resounding "YES!" when we asked you if you wanted to join a dance class, and so off we went this morning.
Clad in your new pink leotard complete with a little skirt dotted with hearts, pink tights, and a pair of hand-me-down ballet slippers, off you went into the dance studio, confident and full of excitement. Mama sat outside the room and hugged the door, out of your line of sight. I was just within earshot and every now and then caught a glimpse of you in the mirror.
Your excitement was evident the entire class, even when Ms. Pat's (your teacher) voice got just a bit more serious when the group of you - all four of you little teeny dancers, hand-in-hand - went off away from her, skipping and leading one another on, giggling all the while... oh you sweet little rascals (I can't imagine leading a group of almost-3-year-olds, but the job must be left up to those with saintly patience, clearly!).
You were so patient and listened so politely to Ms. Pat, even when I could tell you wanted to go off and hop up a storm with those little tap shoes. A few times you did - you just couldn't contain your glee to be in that class, I think - but you quickly returned to the circle when Ms. Pat called you. I was one proud mama watching you. My big girl.
You are growing wings and exploring your world, my dear sweet girl. It's no surprise, of course, you have been doing this slowly since the day you took off crawling, reveling in your newfound freedom. And I am so proud to watch you, to be by your side as you do, helping you find your boundaries while giving you ample freedom to explore within them - more and more freedom by the day, as it should be. Of course, as your cheesy mama, I am also proud and happy to see you come back to me with a smile on your face after accomplishing something big. You KNOW today was big, you could feel it. It showed in your shy smile, when you came bounding out of the room, telling me quietly "I really liked it, Mama". You always come back to me; I love being your person.
Just another day in our life, and yet such a big day at the same time. It felt big, anyway. I love you and I can't wait to see you explore your world whether its through tap shoes, hiking boots, a karate belt, a chess board, a violin, or a soccer ball. Go explore, Eliza, the whole world is waiting for you!