Last Thursday, we received Zee’s grade 1 ballet exam results and photos. And we are so, so proud of this little person! This was her first – as she put it – big girl exam, the first exam where they’re given marks on the different aspects of each dance they perform. As if that in itself wasn’t huge, our tiny tot had to go into that exam room all alone, for a solo exam. Let me go back a bit to why that happened.
About a week before exam practice/extra lessons started, mommy decided it would be fun to walk into the table and break her toe. 😐 It was a break so fantastic, even driving was out of the question. Then, in the middle of that, I was sick – cold, or flu, or something. And of course, I passed this to Zee. What all this meant was a whole bunch of missed ballet lessons at the most crucial part of the year – grade 1 ballet is serious business people. Anyway, when we eventually got back to ballet, one of her teachers advised that it would be difficult for Zee to catch up on group routines in the little time left, and that a solo exam would be a better, less stressful option. I chatted to my girl, and she said dancing alone sounded scary, but she’d do it – my little trooper! So now we’re caught up on how she came to do a solo exam.
Back to the results. She scored 73 marks, only 2 short of a distinction. I was thrilled to see her marks, but her reaction was slightly different. She said it made her sad that she didn’t get a distinction – this surprised me, as I didn’t think she would even know what that was. Turns out she was studying her mark sheet quite intensely, and found “distinction” next to the highest marks “75-100”.
My heart sank seeing her disappointed little face as she tried to figure out what she did “wrong”. I let her know immediately that she did a brilliant job, that her score was very impressive, and that I was extremely proud of her. And while daddy and I obviously like knowing she pays attention in class, and improves in her dancing each year, its not because we want her to score a certain number of marks, or compete with anyone (the competition bit being one of the reasons I love homeschooling too). All we want is for her to do her best, and to enjoy what she’s doing. I also reminded her of the main reason she dances – because she loves it.
She loved ballet from the very first day she stepped into the studio as a two year old, and she still lights up each week when we arrive there. I hope that never fades. How special it is to be so passionate about something from such a young age, and for it to still bring you joy even as you get older.
When dad came home, she told him she’d missed out on a distinction by 2 marks, and that it disappointed her a little. Echoing my earlier sentiments, he told her that her score was excellent, and that he was incredibly proud of her. Then he smothered her in hugs and kisses, while she giggled uncontrollably. ❤
Of course, Mom the Deep had to get in on the conversation. I reminded her of everything I’d told her before, and threw in a little extra just to make sure she really got me.
She nodded in agreement to everything I said – and not that annoyed “ugh, I’v got to nod and say yes mommy, or she’ll never stop” nod, but a sincere, “I hear you mommy, and maybe you’re right” nod. #winningatmotherhoodmoment
She was smiling again, and responded with, “I did do really well hey mom?” Then she remembered there were photos, and moved on to admiring her cute self in the pics. 😀
Motherhood, hey. Sometimes you’re the reason they’re sad or crying – you know, because you didn’t write or draw something on every page of a scrapbook they made you (yes, this is an actual thing), or you gave them a packet of Cheddars when what they actually wanted was Flings, or you told them its way past their bedtime and they must to get into bed (oh the horror) – and then sometimes, you’re the one who makes it all better, the one who reminds them of their awesomeness, and gets them smiling again.
Exam photo shoot: West Photography