Monday, March 1, 2021

Zoom Was My Window #SOL21

Sunday was Ashley’s last dance dress rehearsal.  This was not the first of her lasts, but dance will be filled with many BIG lasts.


The pre-dress rehearsal started the same way it has started since she began competing, even at age eighteen.


“ Wake up, Ashley!  It is time to get ready.”


5 minutes later.  “Get out of bed, Ashley!”


5 minutes after that. “Get out of bed!  You will be late!”


Finally, her head and shoulders lifted, and she literally rolled out of bed.  

As she got ready, I did my usual:

  • Served her breakfast in the bathroom

  • Straightened her poofy hair out as she applied her make-up

  • Threw her makeup and hair supplies in her Dream Duffel

  • Rolled the monster bag out and packed her car (this time still in my pajamas)

And then...she left...by herself.  Without me!  I felt pretty lost.  I have always gone with her, helped her, watched her.  I felt like I was losing my grip.  

Questions went through my head:  Is she ready?  Did she forget something?  Does she need me?  The reality of the last question hit me pretty hard.  No, she did not.

I set up my computer and logged in to Zoom.  I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.  Zoom was laggy.  It’s impersonal.  It did not seem real.  At the end of the dances, the girls stood listening to their critiques, and the masks going in and out as they tried to catch their breath were yet another reminder of how different things still are.  

So many feelings rolled through my heart, but the ones I chose to let sit there were only positive feelings.  The fact was - she was DANCING!  I was so thankful for her teachers who worked so hard so that the dancers could do what they love.  I DO believe that this COVID year will be one that we will never forget.

A student recently asked me why on Earth Zoom was on my February love list.  There are many reasons, but this day tops them all.  Zoom was my window to watch my girl dance her last dress rehearsal.  Without if I would have been blind.  I would have missed the very thing that fills my heart with light and love.


 I am excited to be participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge!



26 comments:

  1. Your post brought me back to dance days. And I think I would also have to put Zoom on my love lists. It has made a lot of things possible.

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    1. Dance can be all encompassing. It will be hard to leave it behind.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this moment Heather. Like most things it's easy to focus on the negatives and not the positives and since Zoom is tied in most people's minds with the pandemic it gets a bad rap sometimes. I'm glad you were able to see your daughter dance. And I like that you focused the slice on preparing her for that first before getting to the part about it being a recital over Zoom. I really enjoyed reading this piece.

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    1. Thanks, Erica. Yes, I am becoming for grateful to Zoom.

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  3. Hello from the Welcome Wagon! I am so happy you are slicing this year. Welcome! What a way to start the month. This post was emotional and so relatable. The things that we have such complicated relationships with are prominent in our lives and you showed us how Zoom is one of those things so beautifully! I am looking forward to reading you daily.
    welcome aboard!!!

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    1. Thank you! I am excited for this opportunity to share and read stories.

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  4. Great piece! I thought she was a little girl until you got to the part when she drove away. Great unexpected twist there! I felt the same way about cell phones until my kids became teens and young adults. Now texting is my lifeline to the three of them. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. What a lovely small moment, with all the BIG thoughts associated with it- pandemic zoom, a child growing up, the precious moments and whether we get to see them, the dedication of her teachers to make in-person dance possible, and the many emotions all this brought you. I love, love the details of serving her breakfast in the bathroom and wheeling her big “monster bag” to the car. Lovely piece, and I’m so glad you are participating!

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    1. Thank you, Fran. I am nervous but excited for this month of writing.

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  6. Welcome to the SOLSC from one of your Welcome Wagon followers! You're off to a great start, capturing this moment that is representative of our collective pandemic experience. I could feel the pain and the joy in this piece. Looking forward to following your writing this month!

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    1. Thank you, Chris. We are all documenting history. I am fortunate to have this space to do that.

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  7. Ack- that bittersweet feeling as they go off on their own, but lucky you got a Zoom view in spite of the lagginess and impersonality. I love the way you created the hurried scene.

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    1. Thank you, Erika. It is truly bittersweet. Yesterday showed me I am not not ready for this.

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  8. "Zoom was my window to watch my girl dance her last dress rehearsal. Without if I would have been blind. I would have missed the very thing that fills my heart with light and love." This line broke my heart. There is a lingering glisten over my eyes struck by this line. May you embrace the "work" put into the raising of your daughter to get her to the place of independence. Welcome aboard!!!

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    1. Thank you, Joy. I will embrace that work. I don't often think of my part in this process.

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  9. Wonderful piece, Heather! With only an 18 month old and another on the way, it feels sometimes both: the days are long, yet the moment they won't need me anymore makes me anxious!

    Thank you for sharing, and happy slicing this month :)

    -Britt Decker

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    1. Savor these days, Britt. They do go by so fast. Hug your little one closer tonight for me. I can't do that in quite the same way anymore:)

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  10. Welcome to the blogging challenge! I am part of your Welcome Wagon and it is a real pleasure to read your post. Isn't it weird how you can feel off-balanced and preoccupied for a bit, when our children move on without us? Yes, of course, we support their independence, and yet ... Loved this, "Zoom was my window to watch my girl dance her last dress rehearsal." Beautiful!

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    1. Maureen, thank you. Yesterday threw me. I think I am ready, but my heart is telling me not yet.

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  11. Welcome to #SOL#21. This was a lovely piece. The last events before our children head off and we find ourselves as empty nesters is hard and now even harder when you can't be there in person. I love that you had Zoom to to be apart of her events! And I love that you are so positive about it!

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  12. Heather, I know the feelings you are going through. My baby is 22 and has long not needed me, but I don't even have Zoom. So glad you got to see your girl dance.

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  13. Young adults have missed out on so much this past year because of this pandemic. My heart goes out to each of them. Zoom has been a way to connect the hearts of many. I am so glad you are slicing. This experience will bring a whole new level to your writing life.

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  14. COVID has changed so many things about our lives and this dress rehearsal was one of them, Heather. Zoom has been a lifesaver for so many, including me who could not see my little granddaughters in real time. I missed many moments of my 1 year old's life but Zoom helped me savor a good of firsts. Best of luck to your Ashley. It is hard to let go of the Mom "things" that you usually do but you did share with us some amazing pre-dress rehearsal routines.

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  15. Heather, I agree with you that Zoom (and all the other video platforms) is a wonderful thing during this time of trial. Being able to see things like your daughter dancing is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing this slice. It's great to see you here!

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  16. Ah, Heather. Without Zoom, we never would have met, and we wouldn't begin our mornings together. I completely understand why it's on your Love List.

    Thank you for sharing Ashley with us. :)

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  17. Those windows to see our kids shine are so precious! My 5yo is just starting her (Irish) dance journey, and before Covid, parents weren't allowed to watch practices. Now that her lessons are on Zoom, I get to see her progress in our family room every week, and it's been really special!
    Welcome to the challenge! I hope you find this community to be an incredible experience, as I have!

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