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On Father’s Day our family attended Sophie’s ballet recital. It was a formal affair because the academy was celebrating its 10th year anniversary.

Sophie danced two numbers in act 1. As in her previous two recitals, I was a backstage mom principally, to assist Sophie with her costume changes and to support her if she got nervous. But, if I were prone to introspection, I’d have to admit I was back there more to quell my own stage-frightened, pounding heart than hers. Sophie, as it turns out, is perfectly equanimous under pressure.

I’ve seen it  in various circumstances. Back stage, while some girls tremble and others nervously cry, Sophie is sanguine.

During the recital, I kept checking the order of the performance, anticipating her upcoming dance, all the while, trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach. The dressing room buzzed with palpable energy while she sat, sanguine, unaffected by the collective jitters others felt.

I clipped pins for her hair on my shirt, I had safety pins in place for her costume, I had her wig stuffed in my pocket, and her costume, tights and shoes on the ready for a super fast costume change. Meanwhile, Sophie sat so distracted by her own thoughts she nearly missed her first cue. I pulled her to her feet and got her to the stage door for her line up. 

Anyway, there I was, waiting in the wings for her to come off stage to do a quick costume change so that she could go back out and do her second number.  Another parent helped with the quick change that required a hair piece. We completely stripped and re-dressed her in less than 3 minutes. I walked away with my heart pounding. “Good,” I thought, “we got through it.”

Then she came off stage. Her hair piece had fallen. I was crestfallen. She was amused and triumphant. “Did you see ma’? My wig fell off!”

I’ve since fired myself as a backstage mom. I can’t deal with pressure.

I’ve much to learn from my glass-is-half-full, stars-in-her-eyes, dreamy daughter.