The audience hushes as the red, velvet curtains slowly open. There is only a single, shining light poised on a girl. Her tight ringlets framing her face fall out of her rigid ballerina bun. Her soft, lilac dress glistens in the beam. Her big, green eyes glitter.
With a fast, sharp note from a hidden violin, the girl raises, kicking her leg straight in the air, while rotating her pointed foot, still on the ground. Her pointe shoes move in a flurry, fluttering left and right across the stage.
A minute later, her feet finally meet in a plié, as she bows and scurries off the stage. I am the first to stand up and cheer for the girl, my daughter. I meet her smiling face in the hallway, after the performance, bringing her into a warm embrace and handing her an outrageous bouquet of white roses. My eyes well up at the sight of her. I snap a picture to remember this moment.
My pride and joy. My little girl. My partner in crime. My little ball of sunshine.
I cannot see into the future, see what job I’ll have, see where I’ll call home. My crystal ball is currently out of order. However, I’ve never seen my life without a child, without a family. I can’t see all the holidays, filled with scrumptious meals and plenty of presents, without a husband and daughter; the winter days with warm sugar cookies fresh out of the oven; crudely-drawn crayon masterpieces covering the fridge and the Polaroids of every little moment lining the hallways.
I dream of my son asking someone to go to prom, my daughter’s soccer team going to play-offs. I can see my son going on tippy-toes to shove a bundle of Christmas cards into the mail, snow falling on his button nose, turning his skin pink. I want to help my daughter learn to walk in heels, laughing as she trips over her own feet.
I see this future as I write letters to my future children, as I jot down names in my phone. I see it in the pride in my uncle’s eyes as he saw his daughter graduate college. I see my future in the plethora of Facebook posts from my aunt.
So, I don’t know what my future holds, nor do I want to. Maybe I’ll score a job as an astronaut or an author, but I do know that what I want, more than anything, is a family of my own that I can celebrate the news with.