My older niece's dance recital was today. My younger niece and other family members and friends filled the row. We waited for my niece to take the stage.
I sat in a sea of moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, and friends. I knew when she stepped out on stage, everyone would disappear but her. I'd wait breathlessly through pirouettes and leaps. My heart would swell with each step of her dances.
She wouldn't see us, although her eyes would scan the audience. She knows we're there. That's enough.
A crowded stuffy gym. Hard bleachers. My bottom, sore; my back aches. It's loud and crazy amid the echoes. Girls are everywhere, and people brush by me to find a seat. Then music blares and a microphone squeals and the first set of twirlers takes the floor.
It's my younger niece's baton recital today. Again, family and friends surround me. This time, my older niece sits by my side. In my hometown, more faces are familiar.
They all vanish when my niece takes the floor. Every baton toss, each twirl and trick find me breathless. My smile widens as I watch the steps of her routine. Her face shines with accomplishment when she nails that last step.
I feel like I've run a marathon after recital weekend. My nieces’ recitals usually end up the same weekend, on different days. It’s convenient for me, because I have to travel for them; it’s stressful for my sister, because she has to handle all the details of schedule, costumes, hair, and makeup.
I was so proud of my nieces! I wanted to give them something special for all their hard work, so I made them these Flower Cupcakes.
My materials included fresh carnations and mums; floral foam; and an ice cream bowl. I was going to use the Blistex as a cherry on top but the red top didn't quite look right. I had the toothpicks to use as support but didn't end up needing them. The flowers came from Publix and the rest of the supplies came from Dollar Tree.
First, I soaked the foam in water. Next, I cut the stems of all the flowers to 4 inches long.
After the foam was completely saturated I put it in the bowl then pushed the carnations into the foam along the rim of the bowl.
Once I had the rim completely lined with carnations, I inserted 2 mums to fill the middle.
The flowers should stay fresh for quite a while as long as the floral foam stays moist.