One of the greatest moments of parenthood is experiencing so many of your child’s ‘firsts’ that amaze you beyond anything. You get to delight in the utmost joy that only a parent can, thinking your child is incredible when they perform an action that as adults we take forgranted. Like the first time your newborn baby’s face breaks into a smile, or the first tentative step they take. The first word they utter, then the first time they string a series of letters together and you realise they can actually read words.
But all too soon the clock of time has sped up and there are no more firsts. It’s as if you have reached the last chapter in the book and suddenly your heart is left longing for just a few more opportunities to experience that feeling of parent wonder and bewilderment that comes from watching your child do something for the very first time.
Last week I got to experience one more first. It was a poignant first as it made me realise how grown up my not-so-young daughter is now that her body and muscles have developed enough to wear ballet pointe shoes. But also poignant in that I have reached that dreaded stage of parenthood where my role has finally switched to being more redundant and less wanted. Nowadays, even though Evie is experiencing her own world of firsts, as a parent I would only be an unwelcome guest if I were privy to these moments.
But for one hour on a Sunday afternoon I got to witness her first ballet pointe shoe fitting. Of course I had to conceal the lump in my throat as thoughts of this little girl wearing her first pair of ballet shoes at the tender age of three kept appearing in the front of my mind, and I struggled to comprehend that in less than the blink of an eye, here was a mature young lady ready to take the next adult step on her ballet journey.
So despite the many eye rolls I received every time I clicked my camera, I was able to capture one more first, a very important first. For there is only ever one time in the life of a dancer that you get to experience your very first pair of pointe ballet slippers. And as a mum, I will take even just this one last first.