I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past week, mostly because this is dance recital week — one rehearsal and three very long recitals. This follows a season of competitions and parades surrounded by many practices. I have come to the conclusion that I need to hire a real dance mom
The ad on Craigslist would read something like this: “Wanted, Dance Mom. Must be able to do hair and makeup on the fly, coordinate costumes (mend and tailor them when necessary) and have lots of free time and plenty of patience.”
Those of you who know me or have followed my musings on parenthood probably can see why I am not at all qualified for this job on many different levels. Sure, I play a dance mom, but I always fall short.
The first year we did dance, I had my daughter’s costumes slung over my arm in a plastic dry-cleaning bag. When she asked for makeup, I handed her my makeup out of my purse. When she asked for snacks, I dug in the bottom of that same purse for quarters to feed the machine.
Admittedly, I am a little better prepared now with a real hanging bag, her very own set of makeup and a small cooler of healthy snacks for both of us. But I still have to rely on other mothers’ wisdom to create the entire look.
“How are we supposed to get all that hair in the front to stand up in that poof again?” I ask someone for the one hundredth time.
“Mom, you make me look like a raccoon. You have no idea how to put on eye liner,” my little cherub reminds me yet again.
Plus, the biggest issue is that I can never be on time due to the responsibilities of the 6:00 news. The shows and rehearsals always start way before I can get there, which means I have pinch hitters helping her get ready — her sister, babysitters, other mothers.
So, the logical conclusion is to simply find someone who is better at this than I am which shouldn’t be too hard to do. I haven’t set the bar very high.
“Mommy, I’m sorry. I know this is hard for you,” my daughter said to me the other day as I tried to match the different types of tights with her various costumes based on an email printout from the dance school.
“It’s OK, baby, as long as you love it, we will do it,” I replied with a weak smile. The last thing I wanted to do was make her feel guilty about doing something she loved and was good at.
“Good, because I’d like to do it probably until I’m 18,” she said, twirling and then landing in a split on the ground next to me.
Yippee…the things we do for love…
Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.