If you follow me on social media, you may know that I am going to be dancing in the Denver Nuggets Dancers alumni performance later this month (YAY), but did you know that my baby girl is performing with her cheer team at a Nugs game this month TOO?
Well, let me share a few nuggets (pun not intentional) on my boo.
She's not the kid who gets the 1st place ribbon on field day because she ran the fastest or jumped the farthest. She isn't the girl who busts out with her perfect splits because she's so limber. She always gets put in the back row, the back of the formation - because she's usually the tallest. But regardless, she is never in the front and that does something to a kid.
She struggles with things that her peers can do with ease and grace, like cartwheels and back bends. (We work on them together often!) While she has SO much rhythm, she is not naturally athletic, so remembering and executing choreography has always been a stretch. And though she's been performing since she was tiny, (I mean, of course I put her in dance!!) she never really excelled until recently -- with cheer.
That is my girl. And I love her. With all my heart.
She is observant though, and so she's very aware that she's not the "best." In fact there's been times when she has come to me and said, "mom, I'm the worst one." (Heartbreaking) But we've championed and supported her in her performance journey because it's not about being the best, it's about being her best.
Well, if you are a dancer or a cheerleader or a pageant pro, you know what "facials" are. They are the intentional facial expressions you make while performing. I have demonstrated facials to her many of times. And of course, I have suggested she try doing them when she practices and also when she performs.
But she just never did. And not wanting to become an obsessive "dance mom," I never pushed the issue. Not what I'm about. I figured that she'd bust out with some facials when she was ready. No big deal.
A few days ago I got to see her rehearsal for her big Nuggets performance. What I saw brought me to tears.
My girl had been running that routine for a few hours. She was exhausted and her face was flushed. Usually at this point she checks out. But I saw her do something I had never seen her do before.
My baby was rocking FACIALS. Like - she was The Facial Queen. OH EM GEE. You should have seen her. I couldn't believe my eyes. WHO was this girl? My Bella?!
I literally lost it.
I was in shock. Jaw wide open, tears flooding down my face. Just beaming. I couldn't even speak. I was just so proud of my baby girl.
To be honest - I was trying not to fall to my knees and start weeping. (Took some serious self-control) Just writing about it now makes me get all emotional again. I can't even think about it without crying. (So you know what I am doing right now!)
I'm sure to some, "facials" seem epically unimportant and totally insignificant. But they don't know my Bella. They don't know her journey. Our journey. This. Is. Major.
Not only were we so overwhelmed with pride and joy, but you know what was so amazing? My girl - the same one who gets so discouraged that she can't do what her peers can do, and has told me how she's the "worst," was so proud of herself.
And that is a moment I will never, ever forget.
Moms, dads - are we championing our littles? Coming along side them, right where they are? Celebrating their "small" victories? Because, as I'm sure we all gather by now, they aren't small at all. What a beautiful reminder this has been, even to me.