I have a small sister with whom I took ballet classes for eight years. We learnt to plie and pointe our toes, adages and allegros. We did little pas de chats and attempts at pose pirouettes, and I tried to do a double and fell over more often than not. I got Bs and Cs; she got As and A plusses by the million. But she was always my li’l sis Rainy who stuck out her index fingers and didn’t keep her supporting leg quite straight in a develope.
Two years ago, I was finally permitted to quit ballet. Don’t get me wrong; I love ballet. From a distance. And not a big distance; there always has to be some sucker dashing around backstage, finding ribbons and doing the curtain, and usually it’s me, and I love it because I get the best seat to see the dance. But ballet took second place to horses and writing and cows and God and school, so I quit.
Rain didn’t. Rain dances like most people breathe, only no one breathes beautifully. It was only last year as I watched from behind the curtain, as Rain did arabesques with lines like unbent rainbows, grande jetes that are only not flying because everyone knows that people can’t fly, right? … it was then that I realised that my li’l sis Rainy had grown up into stage name Rain M. Drake, prima ballerina. And I still didn’t know how it had happened.
Resolved: make more time to watch sunsets and ballet and grazing horses. Resolved: make more time to smell the roses. Resolved: make more time to read to and play with and poke fun at and just be around the beautiful, graceful young lady that is my very own sister.