Dance competition season is here.
My 13-year old daughter competed on Friday performing her Jazz solo routine. She came in second place and she won the Spirit Award. Her dad was a no-show.
Tonight after her competition she asked me, “Was Janice there?”
I said, “I don’t know, was your dad there because I didn’t see him?” She said, “I thought I saw Janice and it made me almost mess up my tap routine.”
While we were driving home her dad texted her and said, “Were you happy with your jazz routine?”
She texted back, “Did you see it?”
She then told him that if he had been there he would have heard the adjudicators give her individualized, very specific critiques about both of her tap and jazz solo routines. He would have heard that they only hand out 2 prizes, first and second place. He would have seen her receive the second place award. He would have seen her receive roses from the judges. He would have learned that first place and second place are now moving on to compete at Provincials. He would have learned that his daughter achieved one of her goals and desires and is invited to Provincials for the first time in her life.
My daughter was congratulated by so many people. People were taking her photo and photos of the first and second place winners. Her dad was not one of those people. He texted saying, “I didn’t stay because I just thought there were going to be comments and I didn’t know there were going to be awards.”
I was trying not to express how angry I was by his texts as she read them to me. I could hear her disappointment that her dad might have been there but couldn’t even be bothered to stay until the end. I thought, “I have been with her at dance from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. today and you couldn’t bother to sit through commentary by very prestigious and accomplished judges specifically about your daughter’s dancing ability during her solos?”
Of all the times to bring the other woman because it just makes her look too uninterested to stay and that her dad once again put this woman as priority over her. My daughter tried to protect her dad and make excuses for him by saying, “He probably left so Janice didn’t have to see you.” I didn’t respond. I’ve been going through this for 3 years. I have so much compassion for my daughter right now. I felt her sadness and disappointment. The highest dance honour she has received will be another reminded of her dad’s absence. I don’t need to reason with my child. She knows the truth. I just vent here instead and her dad just puts more distance in his relationship with her.
I really tried hard not to let her dad’s indifference overshadow her amazing experience. I took her to get a treat to celebrate and we focused on talking about all the great things that happened today at the competition. I am so proud of her. I am so proud of how hard she has worked for this and didn’t give up when she was feeling discouraged about her routine. I am so grateful that I was able to be there to share in her joy and to be part of her life and that she knows that.
We are back at it tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. as my daughter competes in all 3 sessions, morning, afternoon and evening, with her group dances. I am so tired but I am so lucky!