Bittersweet Ballet

A little more sweetness from the Paris Opera House…

Paris Opera House


The auditorium of the Opera House drips with gold filigree and deep wine colored velvet.  I stood inside one of the opera boxes a level above ground floor and unabashedly gawked.  I made my way through the small crowd to the front of the box clicking photos; through my lens I noticed my daughter in an opera box across the way.  Unlike the people around her, she wasn’t taking in the over-the-top architecture around her.  Following her gaze, I discovered a lone ballerina on stage and my heart caught in my throat.

paris opera house

Ballet was a huge part of our family life as the kids grew up.  My daughter danced for fourteen years.  I could see in her eyes that every pirouette of the dancer made another memory spin through her memory.

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My ballerina has grown.  She still loves the ballet, but she has other loves as well, including a love for the French language.  Now she dreams of being a French professor.  This fall she will help one of her professors teach an undergraduate French course, bringing her one step closer to her ultimate goal.

For one brief moment last fall the dreams of the girl and the dreams of the young woman unexpectedly intertwined in the vision of a ballerina in Paris. It was bittersweet and beautiful.


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I am a married mother of three fabulous young adults. I have been married to one great guy for over a quarter of a century and hope we haven't reached the halfway point of our marriage yet. Writing helps me sort things out and allows me to avoid unsavory tasks that I probably should be doing. I've reached middle age in middle America and am anxious to see what comes next.

4 thoughts on “Bittersweet Ballet”

  1. This makes my heart swell!! I know as a mother, to see one of your children living so close to a dream and so fully alive and happy is the greatest feeling of contentment! What a magical place this opera house is = like magic. I’m going to Paris for the first time in my life this next Christmas and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I’m so happy for your daughter – even though I’ve never met her.

  2. This made my heart catch in MY throat and I’m not even there! The photos are gorgeous and you captured those memories perfectly. Bittersweet, but beautiful all around.

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