What are the things that run through your mind when you’re told you’ll be given the privilege of raising a little girl? These are the things that went through mine. I always knew that I wanted to have at least one girl. My biggest fear when J & I first got married was that I’d end up having all sons. When I was pregnant with E, everyone around us thought she would be a boy. My in-laws, my parents, our friends … everyone said it looked like I was carrying a boy or my cravings indicated I was having a boy. During our 20-week gender ultrasound, I can’t tell you what a rush of elation I felt when the tech looked at the screen and said, “It looks like a girl.” I couldn’t believe my ears and visions of pink and tulle started dancing before my eyes.
I had a lot of anxieties for the rest of my pregnancy with her. I’d have super vivid dreams where E was actually a boy or was disfigured or extremely ugly. Imagine my surprise when out popped sweet little E who was almost a complete mini-me from the moment she was born. I couldn’t wait to get started on all the fun things I’d dreamed about while baking her in my belly.
Ballet class is one of those things that I always knew I’d put her in. I think it’s almost a rite of passage for little girls. Not that I’d want any of my daughters to be dancers or serious ballerinas, but I remember taking dance classes a little girl and enjoying it so I was excited to provide that opportunity for any girls I might have.
Autism has made it hard to do a lot of the things I’d hoped for while pregnant with E and ballet class is no different. I struggled a lot with wanting to give those memories to her but deciding if she was capable/ready to take on such a class. Most of the ballet schools in my area are strict and intense, I just want to give E a chance to wear a tutu and dance around a sunlit room. Luckily, I was able to find a great class close by that seems to be more creative and fun. This week we went for her first class and she had an absolute blast.
She hardly followed any of the directions and pretty much ran around like a wild fairy the entire time but she did indeed have an awesome time. She was so proud to wear her tutu and leotard and super excited to be in the studio with the other little girls.
I’ll be honest, it was a bittersweet moment for me. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d be one day taking my daughter to dance class but that she’d be accompanied by an aide or that the other kids might look at her and think she’s odd. But that’s our reality! And I’m learning to take it in and enjoy every single moment of it. Even the moments that look different than how I’d first dreamed them.