what might have been…


Saturday night found the doll and I standing in line to enter an auditorium, when I noticed the pre-printed tickets were incorrect-or rather that the doll had only grabbed one of the two tickets and the cover sheet. “Doll, what’s this?” I asked as I held up the paper. “Well how was I to know I had the wrong paper?” She asked as we walked out of the line. “Um…your eyesight is 20/20…” I began and was met with a slight slap on the arm along with an “Oh shush!” from her. Grabbing my car keys, the doll quickly exited the building and began a quick trek back to our car. The performance was due to begin within a few minutes and neither one of us wanted to be stumbling around in the dark. A short time later she walked through the doors, handing me the ticket and said, “See…nothing to worry about” as we approached the doors.

Just inside the door, I met up with my brother Dan and exchanged hugs and pleasantry’s, before an usher approached willing to direct us to our seats. Once there we settled into our chairs as the lights dimmed and the curtain opened revealing the ballet dancers, all on their marks, awaiting the first strands of music to begin the recital. My niece Mary, who would be dancing in several of the numbers was posed, front and center stage; looking larger than life with a bright big smile; began her fluid movements as the music played. I glanced over at my doll-who two years ago was on the stage with Mary-to see if there were any hints of envy…and there were.  Last year while we watched the performance, the doll had the luxury of a friend accompany her. Any feelings of envy or jealousy were tempered by having a friend help enjoy the performance. This year she only had me, which didn’t help.

During one performance, the doll leaned over and whispered, “That is really hard to do…” and I nodded in agreement. The many hours these girls put into practice evidenced by how beautiful and in-sync they all danced. A little later on, during another dance, she leaned over and said, “There is no way I would have been able to do that…” which made me smile. When the recital finally drew to a close, my five year old nephew Jay approached and said, “Oh my, that was boring!” which brought a round of laughter. Later after all the accolades for how well Mary performed, the doll and I headed for home.

“Are you mad that we pulled you from ballet?” I asked. “I was…” the doll answered. “I know you were…but you have to admit…playing Volleyball and Basketball this year was fun…” I added. “I know.” she replied. “Well, I know you kind of wished you were up on that stage with your cousin” I said. She nodded quickly-almost reluctantly. “And I know you miss all the accolades and applause…” “I do…” she admitted. “But honestly mom, I don’t miss all the practice they went through…it was just too much.” Feeling a sigh of relief I agreed.

And who knows….there may be a dance class somewhere in her future yet…you never know…



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