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Shocked, embarrassed then incredibly sad

I am going to share something with you because I vowed to myself I would be honest on this blog in hopes of bringing people together to feel more like a village, than to compete and judge.  First and foremost I wanted to share my journey so that other mum's (and dad's) may not feel so alone or guilty for admitting that it is a hard gig and that we don't have all the answers, and that we are all terrified of screwing our kids up for life. 

So without further adieu . . .

Emerson had her ballet pre-dress rehearsal this past weekend.  We were all excited; it was to be a fun family affair, especially since class is during the week and Mr. Hotpants and I don't get to go often.  We had a great morning at the park, got all dressed in our leotard, tights and ballet slippers with our hair in a little bun . . . and off we went!  Daddy had Ms. Harper, Emerson and I walked in to the studio and immediately Emerson started showing me what she does in her "Peter Pan" dance that she will be doing in the show.  A few of her little classmates are there in all their tutu-glory and everything is sickeningly sweet.  My heart was full seeing Emerson show me her dance moves and where she stands in class and then . . . .

all the dancers (ages ranging from 3-18yrs) had to go to the large studio to run through the show beginning to end a few times.  And this is when it happened, the shock!  Emerson wouldn't go to the studio, she wouldn't stand with her little ballerina friends, she would not go near her teacher and was instantly painfully shy.  I was surprised that she did a 180 from 5 minutes ago and now wanted to go home and didn't want to dance or stand or even be acknowledged.  She was hiding behind me. 

I completely understand stage fright (I was a gymnast and a dancer) and being shy because I was that exact little girl.  I didn't like being the center of attention, I was always blushing and always wanted to fade into the back.  It was not until I was in high school and college that I found my confidence.  I kept telling myself that she would warm up and do the dance the 2nd time through when her BFF was there.  I kept reminding myself that she was only 3yrs old and that this was so much to put on a little person, and quite ridiculously so! The rehearsals were 12-2pm, the dress rehearsal is 12-5pm and you drop them off (never going to happen) and their are two show times on the actual day; 12pm and 4pm.  And tickets are $15-20 a piece!

Don't get me wrong I was a dancer and I know that for girls who are older and really into dance, and may have 3-6 different dances for the show, they need to be there all day and enjoy the performances but for little 3yr olds?! it's a little overwhelming!

And so here comes the "embarrassed" . . . The second run-thru was more painful than the first, she went reluctantly with the teacher and stood there for the whole song rubbing her eyes and looking on the brink of tears the whole time.  Right after she asked to leave, so we said goodbye and got in the car and another shock . . . I burst out crying and I had no idea why.  I was flooded with confusing emotions that I could not figure out or control.  I took Emerson home and dropped her off and went to the store. 

I needed to compose myself, to figure out WTF just happened, to let myself cry.  And when I finally calmed down and thought it all through I got to the bottom of it.  I was terrified at my emotions - frustration, anger, disappointed, and sad.  Now those are pretty darn awful emotions to feel just because your 3yr old would not do her Peter Pan dance right?  Right!!!

Well it just so happens that I felt all those things because I was scared that she would be just like me.  A scaredy cat! A little girl who was painfully shy and whose cheeks turned the most reddish-purple shade when asked a question or put in the spotlight.  It brought about the frustration, anger, disappointment, and sadness that being that way always made me feel growing up.  I hated it, I hated it with a passion but I could not figure out how to control it.  

I was then just sad (and a little scared) that I was projecting my issues and my fears onto my sweet little Emerson.  It has me panicked, it has me freaked out and it had me in a trance-like stupor all day yesterday.  I was floored by the feelings I had, my reaction and the expectations I put on her.

I am telling you this because I am embarrassed and sad and a little nervous how to resolve all this and move forward without putting any of these things onto her.  I want her to be who she was born to be, who she wants to be, and I will love her unconditionally.

My therapist recommended a few books to me that I think might be good to read right about now . . . thanks for listening . . . I needed to say all this out loud.

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Thank you for your comments, I truly appreciate it! Have a fabulous day. xoxo E

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