From the moment she was born, she was built like a ballerina. We kept waiting, but her long, skinny fingers and long, skinny legs never filled out into that chubbiness we expect in babies. As she grows, it seems as if every pound she gains goes directly to her height; her arms and legs just keep getting longer! And she carries herself with a gracefulness that I don't see in her siblings... and I don't remember having as a child.
I didn't set out with a mission to make her fall in love with ballet. I want my children to discover their own interests and pursue them at their own pace. When she wanted a Thomas the Train birthday party when she turned three, I was all about that. When she was all about princesses at age 4, so be it. But then she discovered ballet and my heart leaped! Ballet was one of the joys of my childhood. I only took a few years of intensive training, and I was never the top of the class, but it has stayed in my bones all these years.
In our family, we read basically every (good) book we can get our hands on, exposing our children to lots of big ideas and lots of interesting activities. We just finished a novel by Linda Sue Park called A Single Shard, and the kids have been making pottery out of clay for days on end. This is what happens; they read about something, become deeply interested, and then move on when the next thing comes along. But Audrey...
I don't even remember the first ballet book we read to her. I think it might have been one of those boring informational books with a sentence per page and outdated photographs. Whatever it was, it lit a fire in her! She suddenly wanted to know everything about ballet. We started watching clips of famous dances, she began requesting library books about ballerinas. She discovered Misty Copeland. She asked me every day to put on the music to the Nutcracker so she could practice her dance routines.
I adore watching her twirl around the room. Her natural grace and uninhibited movement brings me so much joy. I look forward to the day I can watch her from the audience as she lights up the stage!