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Valentine’s Dance

I amble towards the sweet little brick school house and expect the usual flounce of scrappy ringlets to bound down the stairs begging for a playdate or another twenty minutes in the park…but today…she glides. She has the most serene expression I’ve ever seen. It’s pure ecstasy of Santa Theresa d’Avila. I don’t want to interrupt her rapture. She glides past me, a grade three vapour of delight, even her huge backpack seems weightless. She radiates homeworklessness. But more than that…

“You seem…well…” I say.images

My eight year old daughter sighs, eyes dreamy, all hazel heavenwards. “Mom, I have never felt this way before. I feel so peaceful and happy inside.”

My heart drops suddenly, like an elevator cable cut. I know what this is.

“I invited Arata to the Valentine’s Dance. I was a little nervous to because lots of girls have a crush on him. But I am proud of myself for asking. He’s a good dancer. He doesn’t just (she shuffles her feet lamely, mimicking accurately the standard “I hate dancing but I want to get lucky” moves for ages 8-80) he actually dances.”

“Mm.” I say. She then smiles so very very wide.

“I think…I think he’s very cute.”

Part of me is so pleased for her that she’s experiencing this rush of emotion, this pleasure, this excitement and the romance of it all. I am not going to burst this bubble. But I fear when it is burst. Her joy is so unabashed. It has no idea it can end. And my child is a very sensitive little bunny. Easily hurt.

She races ahead, giggling, and leaps in three bounds up the climbing wall of the playground slide.

I am very touched that she told me her news, that she shared with me her crush and her courage. Arata is a twin. Since kindergarten Nora has been trying to decide which one she finds the cutest. How will this end? I hope it doesn’t keep her from going to the dance if Arata chooses another girl instead.

A week later, she brings up the Valentine’s dance again. She’s a bit punky about it. Talking blue jean jacket cool. Doesn’t look me in the eye. She flips, “Our school likes to party. We have so many dances. The most of any school. I had asked some guy to the dance, and he said “I’ll think about it”. And then he decided to go with Yuka instead and I was like “okay, that’s okay” cuz a lot of girls like him, it’s okay if he doesn’t choose me, and his brother is going with Birdy…”

She walks for a while…ahead of me.

“Hm” I say.

She turns around and grins mischievously. “So, you know what I did?! I asked Jacob instead! Just now! He said “as long as it isn’t ballroom dancing, I can do the moves”. And I assured him, there was no ballroom. He is so happy. I know he likes me. He said YES right away.”

And off she runs to the swings. And from this little kid, I could learn a few things.

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2 comments

  1. Angela Grieco

    OMG Lucia. I loved that little story. She is only 8! She is already acting like a teenager. What happens when she is a teenager? You have one very special little girl and you are such a great mom.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      haha, thank you dear Angela. I know…8…I have no idea how I’m doing to deal with 13. But she seems to have some good skills! 🙂

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