When we were a family of four with two rough and tumble boys who had no interest in formal dance training, I didn’t even allow myself to dream about tutus and tap shoes. However, once I found out Baby number 3 was a she? The floodgates of my mind opened to a whole new world. Couple that with Eliza’s way of dancing like no one is watching as soon as she hears a beat of music. I recently did what anyone who witnesses her appreciation for a good melody would – I signed her up for dance.
Eliza attended a week long dance camp with participants whose ages ranged from 3-7. Being at the younger end of the spectrum, some of the other kids were a full head (if not more) taller than my petite little peanut. But my girl…she walked right into the studio with her pale pink leotard and mini bun and rocked it! I watched her follow the instructors’ directions and show off her moves from my view through the hot pink trimmed observation window. At the end of the week, the “talent” performed in a brief showcase. My boys and I piled into the studio with the other audience members and watched the kids do their thing. Eliza stomped. She jumped. She twirled. She “Danced like her Daddy” a la Meghan Trainor. It was all kinds of cute. The absolute best part of the whole experience was to see how brave Eliza was in this completely new environment. We were all so proud and it was evident from the broad smile on her face and the tight squeeze she gave me afterward that she was more confident and proud of herself too.
Modern day parents put a lot of effort into how their children look and in what activities they participate. We schedule events, pay for enrichment classes, we drive them all over god’s green earth to get them the best. We drag them around from place to place introducing them to new experiences and often times aren’t rewarded with anything more than a crabby and tired child. There is certainly a question as to if all of that is even necessary (different topic for a different post); however, when you stumble upon something that brings a little extra sparkle to your child’s eyes – it is magical.
Admittedly, now that I’ve been mothering my crew for seven plus years, I am less and less eager to commit to Mommy and me/Extracurricular activities because there are So. Many. Options. and not enough hours in a day. I’ve seen a lot of indoor play places. I’ve done a lot of crafts. I am old(er) and I am tired. I just don’t have the energy or gusto first-time-mom Anissa had for these kinds of things. It would have been easy for me to skip the summer dance class knowing that her participation won’t make or break her in the long run. I do not have Broadway expectations. Through this experience, we made new memories which will hold their value for years to come and I received the welcome reminder that my kids are worth making the effort. Every time.