The little angel has graduated to Level 2 at her ballet school. They are very formal there. Parents are neither allowed to watch class (except for very special parent watch nights) nor even exist on the same level as the classrooms while the children are learning their steps. The boys wear black pants and white shirts. The girls wear leotards, color determined by level.
She started out pink.
Then she was light blue.
And now she is red. This leotard has spaghetti straps, not the short or long sleeves of pink and light blue. Her feet are women's size six. Her classes are an hour and a half long, twice a week.
This is the first week of ballet school, and I'm finding myself with three hours a week for writing that I didn't have before. I'm excited and mortified all at once at the thought of losing my girl for three waking hours a week. My daughter has never played soccer or tball or volleyball or softball or any sort of thing that required her to attend practices without me multiple times a week. We have been together pretty much every day after school since we dropped after school care two years ago.
She looks so grown up in her red leotard. Her father even did a double-take when he met us for that first class, thinking we were going to get the same parental talking-to as pink or light-blue. But instead, the teacher rushed through some basics and smilingly hurried us out of the room so she could get down to ballet business. I could tell we weren't the only parents sort of wandering aimlessly downstairs, wondering when our little pink and light blue babies grew up and turned red.
After red is blue. Then green. Then burgandy. Then black.
I didn't think she'd still be doing this by red. I thought she'd lose interest. But on Tuesday night when she looked around and realized she'd graduated into the older half of the Lower School, her eyes shone.
I took my manuscript and notepad down to the deserted conference room on the first floor and thought about the red leotard some more. Then I settled down to write.