A Perfect Day of Firsts

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.


  1. says

    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. says

    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. :)

  3. says

    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! :)

  4. says

    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. :)

  5. says

    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. :)

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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.


  8. says

    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. :)

  9. says

    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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. says

    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

  12. says

    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

  13. says

    😉 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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