Unsure of what the time is, or when the little girl's class starts, I swerve the car in this and that direction as I can't remember what street her dance school is on. We arrive, I grab her leotard, ballet shoes, and tights, unbuckle the kiddos, and rush inside. I find an empty chair, undress, dress, undress again (forgot the tights), and re-dress the girl in her first dance outfit. I sit with her on my lap and Andrew on the side doing headstands or some other acrobatic feat (especially because his chubby legs) and look around. My face, I'm sure, carries the burden of a frustrated day: of endless exhaustion, pain, fear, depression, anxiety, and every other negative emotion I have felt over the past 8 hours. The lady across the way smiles at me, holding her darling grandchild in her lap.
I feel Emily's excitement as she looks around. Soon her teacher comes out to bring the students in. Emily's nervousness overtakes her enthusiasm, and she holds one of my hands while my other arm is tightly wrapped on her wiggly brother who "wanna dance!" with his sister.
The music starts. She watches. Her bubbly self more reserved around her peers. Her face is curious. She eagerly waits to participate while also choosing to watch the other girls dance.
I stare. I am in awe of her beauty. The ensemble perfectly brings out her pink cheeks and light blue eyes. Her curly strawberry blonde hair attracts the light and her innocence hangs above her like a halo. I watch as her teacher grabs her hand and encourages her to move. She smiles. I know that deep down she is moving. I also know that, despite her reservation, she is having the time of her life. Every now and then, I see as she looks around for me. Briefly locking eyes, I smile and she turns back to the teacher.
The class ends. She races to my legs, imploring for me to pick her up and squeeze her tight. Which I do. With gladness, she thanks the teacher, laughs with her brother, and holds my hand as we walk outside.
"We have fun together in dance school," she tells me.
And I realize that this girl is the best parts of me. I also know that I want to be like her when I finally grow up. I will if I listen, watch, and allow her sweet grace and spirit to smooth down my rough edges.
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—-This week’s supportive parenting theme is saying sorry. How do you say sorry? How do your kids say sorry? Funny stories about apologizing? Let’s hear it.—-