Some families monitor the change of the seasons through holidays, milestones, school events...for us, it's Dance Recital. Dance Recital is an annual Octamom Household Extravaganza, the culmination of a year of daily drives to the dance school, overpriced costumes, stressed out instructors and loads of parental pride. It's that once a year opportunity to see what all the time and money has gone for in terms of creating an appreciation of the arts and better coordination (hopefully) in our kiddos. It's the performance where we find that 1 of 8 would rather do her own dance while her class members perform the scheduled choreography. It's the event where 4 of 8 works beyond the expectations of her hearing loss and dances along with the rest. It's the night we find that 2 of 8 has developed into a bona fide dancer, elegant and sure. And tonight , 6 of 8 makes her debut.
Several seminal events have coincided with Dance Recital for our family...the Dance Recital year M had an emergency appendectomy, the year we told the kids we were moving, the Dance Recital we missed because we had experienced yet another move, the (multiple) Dance Recitals that I was 'this close' to going into labor...Dance Recitals are like rings on the tree for us, markers of another year of growth, of situational 'weather', of drought and of plenty.
We find ourselves preparing today for yet this year's version of new Dance Recital, prepping for tonight's dress rehersal. It marks a year of new babies, another move, 1 of 8's first year out of dance and completion of her high school academics. And it also gives me pause to reflect back, thinking about this time ten years ago. I was pregnant with 4 of 8, it was the only Dance Recital M and I were out of town for, attending a business meeting in Arizona. My amazing in-laws, brother, and soon-to-be sister-in-law handled all the Recital details, right down to the tights and hairnets. It was the summer that my other sis-in-law, her older sister and myself were all expecting babies. It was the summer the air conditioner played out on July 4th weekend. It was summer right before my youngest brother got married. A decade's worth of memories, brought to mind by that Octamom Family Tradition---Dance Recital.
Thought I would include a look back at that sweet summer of '98: