While I try to wrap my head around the news of your retirement, while I let it sit and I become used to the notion, I think of how much you have impacted my child’s life these past 12 years.
I know I’m not a hardcore dance mom. I can’t tell you the difference between a horn pipe and a slip jig (just kidding…one is heavy shoe and one is light, umm, right?). I couldn’t name many of the judges and didn’t even know there was an online irish dance forum until 2013 (that’s an exaggeration…it was 2011). But I do know what I know, and that is you have had a tremendous effect on our child’s life.
You were such a huge part of her childhood. You helped raise her. She is the person she is because of you. You have taught her so much in the years she has been under your wing. I can’t thank you enough for giving such a huge part of your life to make such a difference in her life.
We chose you, not only because you are amazing teachers, but amazing men. You are strong in character and superb role models. The manner in which you have conducted yourselves the past few years, most especially this past year, speaks volumes of who you are. I couldn’t be more proud to call you my child’s dance teachers. You have taught her to rise above, to always be kind, while others were less than so.
So, here we are, just days after your announcement and I wanted you to know what you have done for our child.
You have given her confidence and courage. Taught her about teamwork and commitment. You have introduced her to lifelong friends. Taught her about disappointment and how to pick herself up and dust herself off.
You have given her the gift of true sportsmanship and compassion. You have taught her how to take care of herself, be passionate and disciplined. You have shown her respect and how to respect. She has learned how to push herself to her limit, to persevere, and not give up.
All of these things, and more, are skills she will take with her throughout her lifetime. The memories you helped to create will be told time and time again to her own children (Future Irish Dancers of America?).
I cannot begin to make you understand how much we will miss having you so close within our lives. I will think of you often when she competes, dances across the kitchen floor and ties up her ghillies. You will always have a special place in all of our hearts.
Please enjoy the next phase of your lives, and always remember the lives you have touched during your long, wonderful career. You should be very proud. We love you.