We found out that Hallie will have to wear her boot (for her broken sesamoid bone) far longer than we originally thought/were told. Our second visit to sports medicine for this injury was fairly traumatic - for Hallie and for me - and left both of us in tears, Hallie TERRIFIED of what's to come, and me seeing red.
We get it. The stupid bone is broken and she has to wear a boot. We hate the boot. It's heavy and cumbersome. It makes her feel clumsy and unstable. It makes her knee and hips hurt. And perhaps worst of all, it (along with the stupid broken bone, of course) is preventing her from fully participating in the one activity that makes her feel strong and healthy, keeps at bay the other medical condition with which she struggles, lifts her spirits, makes her heart soar, and renews her faith in both herself and in God.
We get it. This isn't the end of the world. A few well-intentioned people have reminded us of this, and about how she'll be stronger for having weathered this experience, and about how now would be a great time to embrace a new passion. I know these things are true...intellectually. But mentally and emotionally? NOPE. Neither she nor I have reached the stage in the grieving process where we can handle that kind of conversation.
So the high five in all of this, if you look hard enough (and let's be honest, she and I have had to look VERY, VERY hard) is that she's not giving up. She taking notes when she can't dance (ballet and tap) and doing as much as she possibly can in her other classes (jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and company), she's still learning all of her recital dances and assisting in her two itty bitty dancer classes, and she's doing extra exercises at home. It's so unbelievably far from perfect, but she's trying, and I'm proud of her.
Related to high five #1...
One of the biggest "losses" for Hallie when she found out about the bone in her foot was knowing she would have to miss another dance performance. Night of Worship is one of our favorite evenings of the year, and the thought of having to sit out on that night - especially after missing her company's first performance of the year when we were quarantining back in early December - was almost too much. When Hallie's company director saw that Hallie could still move around in her boot, she worked with Hallie and the rest of the company to adapt Hallie's part in all four dances so she could still participate. The opportunity to take the stage with her friends last Friday night was the greatest gift this teacher could have given Hallie, and I will be forever grateful.
Also worth noting... Not one of the girls in Hallie's company scoffed or complained about Hallie participating, even though on occasion her involvement meant the dances looked different than what they had looked like prior to Hallie's injury. Instead, every single one of them cheered her on and made sure she still felt like part of their team.
There were plenty of moves Hallie couldn't do - leaps, complicated turns, jumps of any kind - so there were points in each dance when she (as they'd planned) moved off stage and waited in the wings until time for her to reenter the stage. I happened to notice, at one point when she was standing off to the side, watching her friends on stage, that she was smiling. She was still smiling. When the night was over, a dance mom friend sent me this text. "It takes a great deal of maturity and poise to dance injured and even more to step to the side with a genuine, joy-filled smile when she would rather be in the middle of the stage. There wasn't a moment that I watched her (and I watched her a lot) when she looked anything but beautiful, graceful, and happy."
Related to high five #2, Hallie asked for a knee rover for Christmas. It's come in handy.
These two have been such a source of joy throughout the last two challenging weeks. Mila (Mila Penelope) and Zalina (Zeezee) are as delightful as kittens come, and we will miss them when we send them off to their forever home today.
These two LOVE to workout with me. It adds a layer of difficulty and entertainment that I'm definitely here for. (I didn't put them in any of these positions. As soon as I stop moving for even a few seconds, they climb on or burrow in.)
I didn't find Super Bowl LV all that interesting. The commercials, the halftime show, the game itself...hardly any of it kept my attention and I spent most of the second half working on this blog post. We did, however, have delicious snacks (perfectly cooked chicken wings and fun charcuterie boards), lively in-house entertainment (Hallie performed the boot-friendly choreography she's been working on), and excellent couch cuddles.
Happy Friday, friends!
If you've made it to the end of this post, thank you for reading and thank you for letting me - on occasion - use this corner of the internet as my therapy.