my eldest

I posted about “my middle,” Big J, a few days back. Today, a couple words about my eldest, H.

This child is somehow JUST. LIKE. ME. Most people, when they see us side-by-side, remark how much we look alike. I am fortunate in that H still takes this as complimentary. (Although, people still think my mom and I look alike, and I still take it as a compliment.)

But similarities between H and me run far more deeply than the shape of our eyebrows (poor child). She has, at eleven, already developed a penchant for over-extending herself. As a (quite talented, IMO) dancer, she has managed to audition and place herself in two major holiday productions: her studio show, called the _Magic Toy Shop_, and as a party guest in the Moscow Ballet’s _The Nutcracker_. You can imagine what my weekends have looked like since October rehearsals have started. She lucked out in that the rehearsal and performance dates for those shows did not overlap. Then, her elementary school music teacher encouraged her to audition for the school Christmas show. She brought the letter home; I (absentmindedly, I’ll admit) signed it. She auditioned.

Heh. You know where this is going, I suspect.

So just this past weekend we got the dress rehearsal schedule for the _MTS_. Seems the final dress for the MTS is on the same evening as the performance for _Christmas at the OK Corral_ in which H is–surprise–the lead as “The Candy Cane Kid.” And they are in completely different parts of the state. Well, I exaggerate; the Toy Shop is at the fairgrounds, and the school show is in Parish, about a 35 mile trek away.

::heaving heaving sigh::

I spoke to the director of Toy Shop and explained the mess I’d made as a half-aware mother. Luckily, the director was not unkind, and said if H could make the FIRST run-through of the dress rehearsal, she could sneak out and make the school show performance.

I’m not even trying to think of what that will look like in terms of driving for me.


You’d never know that she was so far extended, though. Her homework is always done; at my conference with her teacher last month her teacher gushed and gushed at what a great kid she is; she’s got the highest average in her class**.

Part of me wants to discourage her from working so hard all the time. She’s at the studio 4 nights a week and at least one weekend day; when she’s home she’s in her bedroom with her pointe shoes on at the barre that B installed for her. Working.

But then I remind myself that I am happiest when I have work to do. And I’m most productive when I’m extra busy. And that I like my busy life. Truly.

So now she’s got a little planner that we’re writing her schedule in, so that she doesn’t have to rely on me to figure out what she’s got time for. Because clearly I can really only do that for myself.

And just today we picked up her first pair of glasses; she’s myopic just like her mama. I’ll post a pic when she slows down long enough for me to snap one.

**(Big J’s got the highest average in his class, too, I should mention. Lest I leave the post about him to simply talk about his gorilla arms.)