It never gets old. No matter how many ballet slippers I tie or how many cheeks I stain pink, emotion never fails to overcome me when the curtain opens and I see one of my babies on the stage. My eyes fill with tears and my heart momentarily stops. It's not their beauty or their grace, though both are stunning (I'm a bit biased, I know) . No, neither of those things sets off the waterworks. What makes me weep is the joy and pride I see in their faces, the "look at me" sparkle in their eyes and their smiles that couldn't possibly grow any wider.
The day wasn't without drama, however. We had to leave at 11:45 for the 1:00 show, so I packed the bags and lined them up by the door at 10:00. Jacey, Bryn, and Tori each had multiple parts to their costumes so I checked and double checked the bags to make sure we had everything we needed. One of the songs Tori danced to was "Teddy Bears' Picnic" so she needed a stuffed bear. Tori chose her favorite bear, dressed her in a pretty purple dress, and added her to the pile. My amazingly talented sister-in-law, Gwen, meticulously worked on their hair and created gorgeous French braids for each of the girls. She brought out the heavy artillery and managed to get Devin's short layers into 2 beautiful braids.
We arrived at the school where the recital was being held early so I would have plenty of time to get each girl to her designated backstage location. As I was getting Tori settled I noticed that her furry friend, the one and only prop she needed, was missing. I asked her where it was and her face completely fell and she burst into tears. Apparently, sometime during the morning rush, my never seen fifth child, Not Me, decided to steal the bear and put it in the playroom. At least I think it was Not Me, though it could have been Wasn't Me, who has also been known to wreak havoc in our house. I know it was one of them, because when I asked Tori why she moved the bear off the pile she emphatically said it was Not Me, but Bryn probably did it. Bryn, of course, denied having anything to do with the missing bear and said that it Wasn't Me. Poor Tori was inconsolable and looked utterly pathetic with her blue streaked tears running into her smudged pink lips. One of the other moms sad she had a stuffed dog in her car that Tori could borrow, but Tori said it had to be a bear because the song was "Teddy Bears' Picnic" and not "Stuffed Dogs' Picnic". I told her that I would figure it out and be back. I found Gwen waiting in line and off we went to CVS, leaving Todd behind to hold our seats. We tore through the aisles like contestants on Supermarket Sweep (am I the only one who watched that show?) until I found the toy section. I found a Care Bear - purple, her favorite color. I brought it backstage with lots of time to spare. Tori's enormous eyes lit up and and she threw her arms around me. I retouched her makeup, gave her a big hug, found my seat, and exhaled.