First, there were tippy toes. At nine months Piper raised herself up on her arches and began walking. Those of you who have seen her in person know that she’s been there ever since. It used to worry her teachers. It worried her doctors, too. But her ballet instructor stopped class once and exclaimed “Oh! Those arches!”

Then there were the tutus. Obsessed. Multi-colored. Layers of tutus. And ruffles. With sparkles. Glitter, please. Blue tutus, hot pink ones, rainbow tutus. They go with everything.

Now there is the infatuation with Clara in The Nutcracker. This all adds up, you see. It’s obvious where I’m going.

“Mom, I want to be Clara. Really be her, you know. Like in the ballet,” Piper said from the backseat as we were driving Sissy to piano lessons.

“You totally could,” Sissy agreed.

“You have to work really hard at ballet, Piper. You’d make a beautiful Clara,” I added.

“Wait,” Piper said, “does Clara wear a tutu?”

“I think so,” I said. “She’s also in her nightgown for part of the ballet.”

That made Piper giggle. Being on stage in your nightgown is just silly.

“Wait,” Piper said, “have you ever seen Grandpa in a tutu?”

“Thankfully, no.”

That made Sissy giggle. Grandpa in a tutu is just silly.

“He’d wear one on stage with me in the Nutcracker I’ll bet,” Piper said, “If I asked him pretty please.”

Ballerina Piper