"I remember, like a distant dream, when you were growing in my belly. With some fear, I watched my body change, not quite ready to release my idea of what the shape of my own body should be.
I had spent so much of my life trying to whittle my body into my idea of the perfect dancer’s body. Eventually realizing that its evolution was somewhat out of my control, I had no choice but to surrender to the grace of your new life emerging.
My solo had ended.
When your arrival began, I recall clutching the bed as each contraction rippled through my body. My husband, your Dad, was by my side, but I was with you. I remember speaking to you in my mind, working with you through the process, feeling like we were really doing this together...and then-- “Textbook!” cheered the nurses. A natural birth, an athletic event to be sure, and you were in my arms.
A beautiful pas de deux.
Exhausted, I bowed down to my own body, allowing myself to feel proud and accomplished, something I had never felt worthy of feeling. I was and still am amazed by the elemental abilities of the human body—creating life and sustaining life. And realized for maybe the first time that my idea of perfection all of those years had been absurdly myopic. For maybe the first time, I felt free.
Begin Act Two.
Our trio began. You, me, and Dad. From a choreographic standpoint, trios are compelling, because we can have one duet and a solo happening simultaneously. Or sometimes we are all dancing solos. Sometimes, we are all dancing in sync. What’s important is to feel the connection between all the performers on the stage, regardless. That even when two are two and one is one, we all realize that we’re on the same stage together, and we’re still all part of a common goal. In this case, our goal is to love each other and do our best. We love each other. We do our best. It’s messy and beautiful.
Within this dance, you’re also on your own solo journey. As I watch you grow from a tiny baby into a little girl, I watch you define yourself in this world. New abilities seem to magically arise in you every day. You are present, you are emotional, you are a living process, and you are perfect. Inspired by you, I practice accepting my own perfection.
There was a time in my life when I thought I wanted to achieve a sort of unchanging perfection. But you have helped me realize that the perfection has always been there—it’s in the movement—the vulnerability of the back and forth, the special thing that happens in the shared space between people. Between the dancer and the audience, between a girl and the world, between you and me: a perfect dance."