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By Charlene Bhana, a wife, and stay at home mom, who is homeschooling her little girl. She’s also a mommy blogger, with a love for travel, sushi, sneakers, and all things Disney. Visit her blog, High Heels And Fairy Tales

We recently received Zee’s grade 1 ballet exam results and photos. And we’re so proud of her! This was her first – as she put it – big girl exam. This was the first exam where they’re given marks on the different aspects of each dance performed. As if that in itself wasn’t huge, our tiny tot went into that exam room all alone, for a solo exam. Let’s go back a bit to why that happened.

About a week before extra exam lessons started, mommy decided to walk into the table and break her toe. Then, I was down with flu. And then, I passed this to Zee. This meant many missed ballet lessons at a crucial part of the year – grade 1 ballet is serious business people. 

When we eventually got back, her teacher advised that it would be difficult to catch up on group routines in the little time left, and a solo exam may be a better option. I chatted to my girl, and she said dancing alone sounded scary, but she’d do it – my little trooper!

Back to the results. She scored 73 marks, only 2 short of a distinction. I was thrilled, but her reaction was different. She said it made her sad that she didn’t get a distinction – this surprised me, I didn’t think she would even know what that was. Turns out she was studying her mark sheet intensely, and found “distinction” next to the highest marks “75-100”.

My heart sank seeing her disappointed little face as she tried to figure out what she did “wrong”. I let her know immediately that she did a brilliant job, her score was very impressive, and I was extremely proud of her. And while daddy and I like that she pays attention in class, and improves in her dancing each year, its not because we want her to score a certain number of marks, or compete with anyone. All we want is that she does her best, and enjoys what she’s doing. I reminded her of the reason she dances – because she loves it.

She loved ballet from the day she stepped into the studio as a two year old, and still lights up each week when we arrive there. I hope that never fades. How special it is to be passionate about something from such a young age, and for it to still bring you joy even when you’re older.

That evening she told daddy she was disappointed she’d missed out on a distinction. Echoing my sentiments, he said that her score was excellent, and he’s incredibly proud of her. Of course, Mom the Deep had to get in on the conversation. I reminded her of everything I’d told her before, and threw in a little extra to make sure she really got me.

She nodded in agreement – and not that annoyed “ugh, I’v got to nod and say yes mommy, or she’ll never stop” nod, but a sincere, “I hear you mommy, and maybe you’re right” nod. #winningatmotherhoodmoment

She was smiling, and said, “I did do really well, hey mom?” Then she remembered there were photos, and moved on to admiring her cute self in the pics. 😊

Motherhood, hey. Sometimes you’re the reason they’re upset – you know, because you’re the meanie always saying no, or you gave them Cheddars when what they actually wanted was Flings, or you told them to sleep.. AT bedtime (oh the horror) – and then sometimes, most times, you’re the one who makes everything better, the one who reminds them of their awesomeness, and the one who gets them smiling again. ❤

Click here to find a list of ballet schools in Gauteng and here for schools in KZN

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