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

Homemade Magic

Once upon a time there was a ballet shoe.  There was only one ballet shoe, but it wasn’t lonely.  The shoe had been passed to Piper from her older sister, who had lost the mate along the way.  But the lack of partner didn’t matter to Piper.  She loved the ballet shoe just as it was.

She wore the ballet shoe to bed every night.  She put it on when she came home from school.  She carried it in her backpack during the day.  The ballet shoe was in good company.  There was also a hot pink ruffled tutu that Piper wore every day.  Every single day.  One hundred and twenty-seven days in a row and counting. It went well with all of her outfits.  Her mother had to wash the tutu while Piper slept with her one ballet shoe to make sure the tutu was ready for morning wear.  The tutu was the first thing Piper put on every morning and the last thing she took off at night.  Sometimes the tutu liked to sleep in her bed so that it could stay close.

Piper said she felt like a superhero in her hot pink tutu and one ballet shoe, and so her mother let the magic take its own course.  The end.