Lucy had her first dance class yesterday. She was SO EXCITED. Truthfully? So was I.
I’ve been working hard to keep up with Kindermusik and (at least try to) enroll! enroll! enroll! despite my pending due date, nearly unnavigable belly and doctors advice to stop, mainly so I can afford to keep my girls in activities like this.
It had been suggested to me that I shouldn’t worry so much, that I should just take it easy. Lucy wouldn’t know the difference if I put her in class or not. “She’s only two,” people have told me.
And I have said, “ARE YOU KIDDING?” This child has been begging to follow a leotard-clad Julia into the studio for at least a year. She’s been playing “ballerina” in the mirrors in her playroom alongside her big sister since she could stand. She wants to take dance class. It means so much to both of my girls. And I won’t lie – it means something to me, too.
Lucy wore Julia’s old ballet shoes for class. There was a time when this would have bugged me, because, from my “only child” perspective, I was convinced that Lucy deserved her own shoes. But, as the girls have grown and I’ve witnessed the bond of sisterhood, I now realize, wearing Julia’s shoes made it even more special for Lucy. There’s no one she’d rather be like. And though this may not always be the case, it is right now. So, I’m going with it. It’s sweet and it saves me $15.
Lucy dove right into class, jumping, twirling, bouncing and smiling. She reminded me so much of Julia that I had to go back and read what I wrote on Julia’s first day of dance:
Julia wasn’t hard to find. She was the bouncy one. The one that, when the teacher walked around helping the kids get into their positions, walked after her, straightening arms and adjusting feet, too. The one that had to run out into the waiting room about fifteen minutes into the class to declare, “Mommy! I’m doing it! I’m doing ballet!”
The difference? While Julia jumped in to assist the teacher, Lucy actually told the teacher that she’d like to teach the class and proceeded to shout out instructions while the girls played with a parachute.
Julia sat on the sidelines with me, fighting the urge – and my death grip that was holding her back – to join in, watching her sister.
“Lucy’s really cute, Mom. I can’t believe she’s so big now,” she told me. I could tell she was proud. I wished I’d taken some photos or videos the night before when Julia showed Lucy how to plie after bathtime. But I was stuck sitting on the floor until Dave made it upstairs to help me up and they were naked, so it would have been weird anyway.
When class was over, we came home and celebrated with popsicles. Julia toasted her sister saying, “Now, we’re both ballerinas!” and they clinked their frozen treats together like champagne glasses.
Ah, to be the mother of little girls!
how incredible she is
this girl in your class
brilliant and hilarious
so eager to please
she respects you already
you are the teacher
not just of her head, but her
heart and her spirit
for answers, validation
make her feel valued
talking and not listening,
or picking her nose
is the dark spot in your day
she’s the light of mine
won’t you remember, you’ve got
my world in your class
Showcasing your child’s work in your home sends a powerful and positive message. It tells her that what she does is valuable to you, that she is smart or creative and that a job done well is something to be proud of. So what do you do when you run out of space on the fridge? Hang a clothesline! You can place it flat against the wall or across a room. Since it isn’t permanent, you can try different locations around the house. The clothespins make it easy to rotate school and art work without damaging them with a hole or tape. You can even have your child personalize the clothespins to make it extra-special, like we did.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- clothespins (one for each letter in your child’s name)
- art supplies
- Decorate your clothespins. We used paint, because that’s what my kids like best, but you could also use markers, stickers, paper and glue or whatever you have on hand.
- Tip: I fastened the clothespins around the edge of a paper plate and balanced them on top of a cup so the kids could decorate both sides at the same time (and without painting the clothespins closed).
The way you choose which pieces to display is up to you. You can choose them or ask your child which ones should go up on the line. You may be surprised at the things that make her the most proud!
How do you display your child’s work?
Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.
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