A Perfect Day of Firsts

by Susan

I never dared dream of such a perfectly pink, sugar and spice, little girl day of independence.

Julia Stretching on First Day of Ballet

All summer I had been nervously waiting for this day. I thought it a touch of bad luck that my tiny and timid three-year old’s first day of ballet landed on her first day of preschool — a morning class of ballet followed by an afternoon class of preschool replacing the not-quite-behind-us nap time.

Since my angel still refuses to be left in a class at Sunday school, I braced myself for tears and tantrums. I never believed this milestone day could be so perfect. I never even let myself hope for such superstar behavior and sincere joy of the adventure.

First Day of Ballet

Julia was the first ballerina to arrive at the studio, followed closely by her best friend Madison. I madly snapped shots and tried to memorize the moment as my precious first born took her first steps in a dance studio.

The beauty of childhood is that all it takes to be a ballerina is desire. With their pink leotards, tights and ballet slippers, these little girls stepped into the studio and transformed into ballerinas.

And we mothers melted at the door, clutching our cameras desperate to preserve each millisecond.

Six pink, tiny ballerinas in one big studio followed perfectly behind their dance instructor. Ducklings couldn’t beat it.

Julia\'s First Ballet Class

But as time so rudely refuses to slow, the class ended too soon and our ballerinas marched to the piano’s beat out the dance room door to greet us gushing mommies.

After hugs, kisses and sing-song congratulations, we headed home for a quick lunch and preparation for the next big adventure – PRESCHOOL!

Julia First Day of Preschool

“Mommy, this is going to be so fun!”

Tummy-filled, potty-visited Julia wiggled with delight as I buckled her carseat.

But by the time we reached the end of the driveway, she suddenly had a wave of doubt.

“I don’t want to go to preschool.” She quietly ventured – testing my response.

“Ohhhh… you’re teasing.” I said with a fun voice. “Remember, you have Jackson’s old teacher… Teacher Melissa!”

“I don’t want Teacher Melissa,” She rather quietly but with a note of defiance tested further.

“I can’t remember the other teacher’s name. Do you remember?” I replied, ignoring her bait.

Fortunately the ride to preschool was short and my sidetracking questions did the trick.

Soon we were at the school door, ready for the momentous moment.

Julia at the School Door

I swung open the door, and from down the hall, Julia’s best friend Madison called out her name and any fear Julia had was fast forgotten. And so was I.

She let go of my hand and ran toward her trusted comrade.

Julia Running To Madison

Her independence amazed me and reassured me that my baby was completely ready for this day. I perhaps was not.

With Madison by her side, she found her hook and hung her coat. With delight and pride she read aloud the letter ‘J’.

Julia Hanging Her Coat

As we waited for the teachers to open the classroom doors, the girls took turns drinking from the water fountain and running up and down the hallway.

Julia Drinking Fountain

And again, as time brings each moment to an end whether we’re ready or not, Julia let go of my hand and stepped into her first classroom. With only a quick glance back at me, she ran for the nearest toy.

Julia Runs To Closest Toy

Moments later, she and Madison discovered a table covered with puzzles. With their backs to us, the two worked diligently at their puzzles for the next ten minutes.

But once Madison sought out a different play thing, and a new boy tried to replace her spot, Julia jumped up and looked around for Mommy to rescue her.

Julia In ClassroomI reassured her she was okay and suggested she find a different toy, while internally I panicked that our typical Sunday School tears were about to begin. And then, shockingly, she picked up a toy car and began to play.

Once she was settled again, I kissed her cheek and said, “Have fun. Mommy’s just going to wait in the hall with the other parents.”

With the miracle of independence, she didn’t even look up from her toy.

And I joined the other moms in the hallway for a delightful time of grown up chit-chat. Every few minutes we’d peer through the door’s little window to check how our little students were behaving, and with each look I realized how ready my Julia was and I thanked the Lord for this precious child and this perfect day.

Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa September 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Oh, how sweet those moments are! That is almost too much cuteness to handle. It’s wonderful that she did so well and hard at the same time for us mommies to let go.


2 Amy September 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Aw, what a story. And what a big day! I’m glad she did well and had fun.


3 Blessed September 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I’m glad she did so well… I can say though that I’m already dreading those moments and my little sweetheart just had her first birthday!


4 AmyG September 11, 2008 at 2:07 pm

They grow so fast, don’t they? :( She looks adorable in her little leotard & tights. I hope she had a great time at preschool!


5 Heather J. September 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

What gorgeous photos! That’s the one thing about having a boy … no lovely pretty pictures of pretty things. Instead I get pictures of Darth Vadar and Harry Potter battling, wrestling matches on the floor, and other boyish things. :)


6 Marissa September 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

What great photos and memories! I especially love the ballet ones. It wasn’t too long ago (literally) that I was in the ballet studio…


7 workout mommy September 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm

she is just too adorable! and I agree, the time goes by so fast.

It is bittersweet when they let go of our hands to explore on their own. Half of my heart is so proud, while the other half feels so sad! This mothering gig is not for the weak! :)


8 Renee September 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Wow they do grow up so fast don’t they!!!! I love those picture what a precious moment!!!!!Thanks for sharing your precious moment with us!


9 Jennifer, Snapshot September 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm

How great, Susan. Kudos for encouraging her (and probably yourself) beyond her comfort zone. It sounds like she was ready for this next big step.


10 Bess September 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I’m so glad that it all turned out well! Look how God has control, and not us! :)
Maybe it’s the nursing mommy hormones flowing through my body, or maybe I’m just overly sentimental…but I teared up at this post, just like Jackson’s first day of school post! My almost three-year-old daughter loves to be a ballerina, and your picture of the girls in class has inspired me to once again search for a local class for her. :)


11 Tina September 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Yay! for Julia – such a big girl!!


12 Kaye September 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm

To quote my (almost) three year old: “You make my heart melted.” What a sweet narrative of priceless moments.


13 Mommy of Three September 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Beautifully written! It brings back so many sweet memories. They do grow so fast!


14 Janice September 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Susan – you forgot to add your independence from me! ;) You did a great job taking all your own photos!!!

Way to go Julia AND Mommy – Auntie Janice is soooo proud of you both. :)


15 SarahHub September 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Oh, those ballerina pictures are precious! Congrats to the BOTH of you for holding up so well on such a big day!


16 melody is slurping life September 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm

What a big girl. Does a mom’s heart good to realize how secure a child is in love, doesn’t it?

I adore those ballet photos!


17 KellyMichelle September 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Im a mom of 6 and strangely enough this post reminded me not of any of my daughters but of my own mother on my first day of ballet school. I lost her two years ago to lung cancer and each memory is precious. Thanks!


18 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls September 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Oh that does sound like a pretty perfect day – thank you for sharing it with us! She’s a gorgeous little ballerina and preschooler! :)


19 Jen September 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm

as i wipe the tears from my eyes, i am thankful to not have had to dela with this milestone yet, although surely the day will come before i know it, and i too will be standing in the hallway with tears in my eyes, as my little boy grows up long before I am ready to allow him to.



20 Gretchen September 11, 2008 at 5:43 pm

My next milestone is my son turning 16. Luckily, I have two more years before that happens.


21 DJ September 11, 2008 at 7:12 pm

What a beautiful post!, I’m so happy things went well for you. The photo of all the pink leotards in a row is too cute.


22 MommyWizdom September 11, 2008 at 7:18 pm

What an awesome story. It does amaze me how independent they can be… I’m so glad she’s adjusting well. Thanks for sharing such a heart-felt story! :-)


23 Tara R. September 11, 2008 at 7:36 pm

I absolutely ADORE that line-up of little ballerinas!!! What a great shot!

I’m so glad it went so well!


24 katelin September 11, 2008 at 8:14 pm

ohmygoodness she is just precious. so glad the day went well, yay for firsts :)


25 tracey September 11, 2008 at 10:43 pm

What a sweet day!!

Today was my daughter’s first day of ballet, too! Many a picture of my own prancing ballerina are on my blog…


26 Trish September 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

She is so precious and how exciting that she is starting so many new adventures. A big step for Julia, an even bigger step for mom! And I love the way you ducked and weaved past the hints of a meltdown. :)


27 Tonya September 14, 2008 at 1:17 am

I love that you got every single morning of her first day, right down to drinking out of the fountain. What a wonderful day of firsts.


28 Kaycee September 14, 2008 at 10:32 am

Hi! I’m new to this blog and i LOVE it!!

Just wanted to say your post almost made me cry. lol! I have a 2 year old daughter and another on the way and I can just see us going through those exact moments. The pictures were precious.


29 Jen September 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Gosh Susan she is growing up so fast. I just love her in her little ballerina outfit and what a big girl with her back pack. Time is going to fast!

P.S. Sorry for delay in catching up on posts… I was down with gallbladder pain and then surgery finally.


30 turnitupmom April 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm

The picture with the little ballerinas all in a line like ducklings was priceless!!


31 Kattia July 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

what a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes as I though of my own little one. These first are to tearfully cherished, since they grow so quickly. Its amazing because there are so many first no matter how old they get. I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing


32 Cynthia November 20, 2009 at 10:03 am

I stumbled on this beautiful post of yours when looking for something through google. How utterly beautiful the photos and the story are…the blogoshere is brimmed with creative and interesting people. Thank you for sharing this wonderful “sugar and spice day” with us


33 JennD. January 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

;) I still remember those days from six years ago with my little girl! Tutu’s for twos … and then for three’s … and the not staying in Sunday school… and the confidence she found in her friend Kianna to enter preschool happily on her first day… such sweet memories … all triggered by your post… Thank you!


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