Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


The Good Enough Mother and Her Perfect Ballerina

Just before Christmas, our four-year-old daughter donned a green sequin costume with the rest of her ballet class and performed a dance routine for a packed auditorium of proud, swooning parents.

The day before we had rushed in late to the dress rehearsal from an afternoon of last-minute shopping, having forgotten Sam’s costume. When we arrived, all the green-sequined ballerinas in their pink canvas slippers were on stage as this flustered mother hustled Sam up the stairs, planting purple-corduroyed Sam in her hot pink Nikes among her fellow dancers.

So sorry and better late and without a costume than never and an understanding yes of course! followed in the ensuing exchange with Sam’s teachers, with me scrambling off stage as quickly as I had come, seeking to make the least disruption in the frenzied choreographic preparations now underway.

But by this time the damage had been done and I knew it: first, a trembling lip, then a whimper and finally a full-blown cry let loose from the girl in the purple corduroys. In no time a teacher had scooped her up, attempting dubious reassurances. It’s okay, Sam. I’m not in costume either, see?

There and then my daughter’s future flashed before my eyes: somewhere in her trove of memories to be exhausted on a couch with a shrink would be this moment, when her mother made her dance to a schmaltzy version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” as the only little girl in purple corduroys and hot pink Nikes.

So there and then I prayed for Sam and for me: Help, God. Please.

Sure enough, Sam made it through. And the next day, as she and twenty other little girls pranced and plied across a stage in the glare of the spotlight, there she was again–the outlier. This time the matching leotard and green sequins couldn’t disguise a little girl who had once again (this time unknowingly) broken rank. Off to the far right of center stage and twenty other dancers, but performing the same motions as the rest of the bunch, was a little girl oblivious to her solo act and a mother’s proud, affectionate giggles.

 

 



Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—"Stile Antico"
Since it's been a while since our last mental health break...today's feature is the choral ensemble "Stile Antico" singing Thomas Tallis' "Miserere nostri." A friend introduced me to the group, and I'm so glad she did. Now they accompany me often in the car. En route to work sites. Picking up the ki

posted 11:00:20am Apr. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Easter Tremors
16 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away

posted 12:30:19pm Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Witness: A Good Friday Sermon
For the last three years I've had the privilege of participating in an annual ecumenical and interracial Good Friday service, "Women's Views o

posted 2:50:15pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

The Vatican Diaries: A Review
Sex. Money. Power. Corruption. Controversy. Scandal. Since the 1980's Catholic News Service reporter John Thavis has been covering all of it and more—not from a post in Las Vegas or the nation's Capitol but from (of all places) the Vatican. Which may explain why Thavis prefaces his New York

posted 11:06:12am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Lent Madness
In an effort to infuse this often somber season of Lent with a little humor and motivational pizzazz, one Episcopalian priest in Massachusetts has invented "Lent Madness." Four years ago Rev. Tim Schenck started the initiative, which pits some 32 saints in a basketball-type bracket squaring off as r

posted 9:58:05am Apr. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.