We all have pictures in our heads that we will never be able to erase. Sometimes it's good, other times it's bad. We all look back at certain moments in our lives that shaped us. Moments we cherish forever because things were "just right." This past week we had the opportunity to file away a few of those precious moments in our minds.
Our one and only daughter Olivia had her dance recital this past Saturday, and despite a few minor mishaps, which we will gladly share in a minute, it was a truly memorable experience. We sat in the audience with tears in our eyes to celebrate all the hard work she put into learning ballet over the last year or so.
Truth be told, it wasn't all glitter and princess sparkles that day. We spent most of Thursday night and Friday dealing with Olivia being sick and exhausted. We had nightmarish visions of Olivia walking out on stage and projectile vomiting all over it. Thankfully, our worst fears were never realized and she made it through her entire performance without redecorating the auditorium in regurgitated breakfast foods. Dodged that bullet. Whew!
The next little "hiccup" we encountered was the fact that the tickets we purchased were for seats that didn't actually exist. We had mistakenly purchased "wheelchair access" space (thankfully we weren't the only ones who made this little boo boo) when we purchased our tickets online. So we showed up, sat in some seats we thought were ours, because who sells tickets for seats that aren't really there?! Then were told not so politely by a guy who looked like an "extra-large" version of Colonel Sanders that we were in his seat. I was about to tell him we would give up his seat for a bucket of fried chicken and a few biscuits, but decided that probably wouldn't go over too well. Instead, I got up and found an usher to help us find our seats. Score one point for keeping calm under pressure, although I'm still wondering if we could have gotten a free 10-piece out of this whole ordeal. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20. Either way, the usher helped us find our real, non-existent seats and was very polite in procuring a couple of folding chairs to put where our invisible seats were supposed to be located. After much wandering, question-asking, and fried chicken dreaming, we were seated and ready for the show!
And what a show it was! Olivia looked absolutely stunning that day. We will never be able to get her beautiful face, or her magical performance out of our minds for as long as we live. She danced with style and grace, and (in our extremely impartial opinion) was the most beautiful girl on stage that day. She is growing so fast and we can't help but wonder how many more of these "burned in your memory forever" moments we have left. We know that we are going to wake up one day, and she will be grown and gone. A beautiful, gracious, kind woman who knows how to fill any situation with life and joy. She really is full of passion and joy and is undeniably one of the most radiant human beings we have ever met. She keeps us grounded and forces us to remember daily that life is too short to always be worried about always following all the rules and doing everything perfectly. Her wild and free spirit is exactly what we need sometimes, and we pray everyday that she keeps that spirit for the rest of her life. We also pray that maybe a little bit of her will rub off on us too, and that we would enjoy everyday with as much passion, joy, and unbridled abandon as she does. We love you Olivia and we are so proud of you and who you have become!