As many of my long-time readers know, I have no children of my own, but one of the lights in my life is my sweet niece, Eliza (or “Little E” as I have called her since she was born).
This year, as a result of all her hard work in her dance classes, she was invited to participate in a two week intensive dance class that could be a path to a position on the studio’s competitive dance team. After 20 hours of practice, she got her spot on the team, and Bill and I couldn’t be happier.
Now I have to admit, I was not in the least bit surprised that she made it, and I know that sounds biased, but it really came from my honest observations of her over the past couple of years. She is one of the most fiercely dedicated people I know. When she started ballet, Eliza wanted to go en pointe right away; when she found out that it would take a few years before she’d be ready for that, she buckled down and took each class very seriously. Each time she learned something new, she would practice it over and over until she got it right. And as is the case with perfectionists, she got it right long before she thought she got it right. I’ve seen some videos of her recitals, and Eliza always knew the routine. Did I mention she’s only eight?
She had one final camp rehearsal on June 12th, and then was given a letter that would reveal whether or not she made the team. I can only imagine how nervewracking it was not to be able to open it right away, but the studio is very strict about not immediately opening the letters; it’s their way of protecting the feelings of the ones who didn’t make the dance team. I called her around 10:00 because I hadn’t heard if she had made it, and I was on pins and needles. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi sweetie! Did you make the team?
Me: (some kind of unintelligable girly squealing) I knew you would! We’re so proud of you!
The fact that she is chasing her dreams thrills me and Bill, and the fact that she doesn’t let cystic fibrosis stop her from doing what she loves makes us even happier! Congratulations, Little E! We love you!