Yesterday was a big deal. Sophie’s first day of ballet.
For years now, friends have kindly murmured things meant to be nice — things like, “Maybe there’s something else Sophie can do for a hobby. She doesn’t have to do everything Annabelle does.” Ray told me I was ridiculous to push it. And I have to admit that when we found out Sophie had Down syndrome, one of my pat lines was, “Well, she can take modern dance instead of ballet.”
But as with so many things in her life, Sophie made her own mind up about ballet — and the rest of us had to scamper to catch up. She’s been trying to break into the classrooms at my mom’s studio (yes, for those coming late to the party, my mother’s a ballerina; runs her own childrens academy) since she could army-crawl.
Yesterday was the beginning of Annabelle’s fifth year of instruction, and Sophie’s first class. We were unusually early (for us), both girls in the dark blue leotards prescribed by the studio, hair slicked back neatly (for us), excitement brimming in the back seat of the station wagon. And some trepidation up front.
Turns out, Sophie blended in nicely with the 3 and 4-year-old beginners — still the smallest kid in the class, despite her age. She only tried to escape the room twice (I was glad we’d hired an extra aide to keep an eye on her, from afar) and that was when she caught a glimpse of me through the window.
But my mom and I did get a few minutes watching in before Sophie noticed me. And we both had a nice little cry.
Sophie, on the other hand, was all smiles.