On June 9, 1991 I went to Jane Phillips Memorial Hospital in the early morning hours. I was in labor with my third child, Robin. She finally made her entrance into this world at 11:05 am.
We knew we were expecting a girl. I was anxious from the contractions and the tornadic weather all around us that spring. We had moved to Bartlesville, OK only a couple of months before she was born as my former husband had obtained a job with Phillips 66 at their home offices in that city.
Being far from my mom was nothing new. My oldest was born in Stillwater, OK nearly five years before. His dad and I divorced after one year of strained co-habitation and another one separated. I moved back to Florida where I had attended high school in Tarpon Springs, but my mom soon left for the other coast, so I followed her–a child myself with a one-year-old baby–and it was there I met my second husband when my mom, sister, and I went dancing one night.
Robin was welcomed by her oldest brother Zach, who would turn five in less than a month, and her brother Wesley who was eighteen months old. My labor and delivery were seamless. I went home within two days of her birth and settled into my role as mom and wife, taking care of our little family and our home.
Unlike her brothers, Robin was a quiet baby and hardly cried. She sat for hours and studied her environment: the wheels on her walker, the texture of the carpeting, the books she could only grasp with her chubby hands, and the music videos I played for them.
When she could pull up she stood and watched Sesame Street Sing-A-Long songs, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty And The Beast, and the Disney Song videos all the while swaying her little bottom back and forth. The other kids and I would soon join her, all of us singing, dancing, and laughing.
When she was only five she wanted to learn dance in a formal setting. I would take her to the dance studio two times a week and she learned fundamentals in ballet and tap. As she got older she learned jazz.
Artistic, she took her love for music and expressed it in movement. Though she wasn’t interested in playing any instruments, she enjoyed creating a visual art to the sounds she loved to hear.
As she got older, she started taking her art in the direction of painting, sketching, sculpting, and fiber arts. She attended and graduated from Kansas City Art Institute after a prominent two years in high school art, where she was awarded a spot for the Quartz Mountain Arts Conference in Southwestern Oklahoma. Her art is still displayed in the main hallway of her high school in Bartlesville.
Then I saw the ceramic tile she made for me for Mother’s Day while in 6th grade, and the oil painting I did in a fever the morning after she and my youngest, Noah, had performed at the community center in their dance studio’s spring recital.
Today my girl is twenty-five, married, and has her own business making and selling jewelry as well as scarves that she spins and weaves on her own looms. She makes them all by hand and dyes them as well.
At least, I think that’s what she is still up to these days. Unfortunately, I don’t get to talk to her and haven’t for nearly two years.
Nevertheless, she was my tiny dancer. My sweet little girl who loved to make things, go off on her own to dream and think, listen to her music, and write poems for her momma…has flown far away.
Yet, my love for her cannot be quelled. I will continue to sing for my little bird until she finally flies back home to me.
And, perhaps we may dance together again.