I wrote the poem above when Grace was 10 months old. I used to love to sit with my journal nearby, ready to moments of play, or quiet, or mischief.
Grace is 16 years old today.
We are in the gym. It is crowded. It is loud. We have been here, sitting on the bleachers for four hours. The last team has performed. The dancers have assembled on the floor, not in teams, but as a large group of dancers. The music plays on the dancers move their bodies in ways only dancers can. We, in the audience, wait. We chat, we chew, we hope to cheer.
The music quiets. The audience quiets. It is time. It is time for awards. Is the season over or will it continue. I search for our team. “Right in the center of the gym.” A friend says as she points to the faces I know. I see Grace. She sees me. We each exaggerate a wave making sure the other sees. I see her smile. I hope she sees me smile.
We wait some more. Finally, announcements are made for the top four in our division. We huddle close in anticipation. I see the team huddle close in anticipation. They announce fourth place. Not us. They announce third place. Not us. They announce second place. Not us. Are we first? Is it true? Can it be? First place…our girls!
We explode from our seats, we cheer, we scream, we hug.
I watch. I watch as Grace hugs her teammates. I watch as she looks with pride at each of her fellow dancers. I watch as Grace celebrates dance.
I watch in wonder and pride at my daughter, Grace.