“Have a wonderful practice, sweetie.”
“Mama, I want you to watch me today. Can’t you stay? Even for a little bit? I’ve been practicing so hard.”
“Jessa, I really want to, but I have to pick up your dad, drop the dog at the groomers and…”
“Never mind, mama, I understand. Those things are important.”
With that, Jessa shrugged, tilted her head down and walked slowly toward her classroom. This time she didn’t turn back to wave me goodbye. My heart was breaking, but I simply had no other choice. There were only so many ways to divide up my time. Driving into the city to pick up Dan, the picture of her walking away from me had seared into my heart. I knew there would be many more times in her life that she would feel this way. That she didn’t come first.
The dog was getting restless in the backseat and Dan was calling on my cell – and my heart was in pieces. Dan could work a little longer and the dog could get another appointment.
As I pulled back into the parking lot of the ballet studio, I knew what was really important. And when Jessa saw me come through the door, her eyes confirmed what I knew – and my heart stopped aching.
© 2016 jdyoung
artwork: don anderson