Thursday, June 23, 2011
In Which We Dance
Since the time she was three years old, Kaylynn has had an intense desire to be the prima ballerina. She danced EVERYWHERE. She danced at the grocery store, in her carseat, while brushing her teeth, and at any other opportunity. Kaylynn enjoyed listening to classical music over any other kind of music and could explain The Nutcracker music in words. Her desire for dance was so great that when she was three her gymnastics teacher told me to switch her to dance. So I did, and she has simply loved the past 5 years of dance. This year was different, though. This was the first year of "real" ballet, and she is no longer convinced that she still wants to be the prima ballerina. This year pink and purple are out and yellow and orange are in. This year princesses and ballerinas are out and explorers and adventurers are in. This year fancy dresses are out and ripped jeans are in. This year my little pink princess turned into a tomboy! She is now following a path similar to my own. I used to hide my ripped jeans (because my father would not allow me to wear them) by rolling them up past the rips then unrolling them when I got to school. My favorite shirt in third grade was a HUGE black sweatshirt with a skier on it. Who knew she would go through such a massive transformation? So you can imagine my surprise when she was actually excited to don her Bright Pink leotard and tutu for the recital. She told me, "not all pink is bad, mom." (As if I didn't know that already). And she was ecstatic to perform in BOTH recitals this year. This girl was made for the stage. She has nerves of steel and certainly commands attention when on stage (well at least my attention). I am excited to see what next year brings as she changes once again and continues to grow into the young lady that God has made her to be.
I have a second little princess waiting in the wings, and although Kalli has never had a great desire to be a prima ballerina nor does she care to be on stage or in the spotlight at any time, she LOVES pink, purple, tutus, and ANYTHING that big sister is doing. So, she wanted to do creative movement this year. I spent the first half of the year participating in the class with her because she simply refused to go in alone but when offered to wait and take the class next year, she insisted that she loved it and wanted to continue. I was not expecting her to actually go on stage this year, but she did! She was certainly more interested in how her tutu spun than actually doing the dance number, but that made it all the more memorable. And often during her "performance" she would stop and turn all around watching her classmates do their part, then she would do a nice twirl for good measure! She was so happy when it was all over and so proud of herself! She also loved receiving her own flowers (which were far too big for her to carry). So, I still have one little princess for at least a few more years. And who knows what Cami will be like?
Inspired by our girls, or possibly some sense of nostalgia, Alan and I joined a swing dancing class. We used to dance together (about 10 years ago) before we had children. We even "performed" one time at the Homecoming football game half time show (wow that seems so long ago). But alas, our dancing activity has since been restricted to the living room, the kitchen, and often the back yard, with our children looking on or interrupting to be twirled or thrown into the air. So here we are again, re-learning what we learned many years ago and enjoying every minute of it. We are currently learning East Coast Swing. Our next class will be West Coast Swing and Waltz. We are the youngest in the class by at least 10 years, and most of the other participants actually thought we were in high school (so good to hear that at 30 years old).
As we danced this past Tuesday, I had some time to process the "art" of dancing and how it pertains to our marriage. You see in swing (or any partner dancing), there are good leads and bad leads; there are good follows and bad follows. The dance does not work when either the lead or the follow have no idea what they are doing. We are learning that to be a good dancing duo, we both have to know our part. What a great picture this has painted for me in our marriage. We both have to know our part in order for this to work. When I attempt to lead, we wind up tripping and stepping on each other's toes. When he fails to lead me properly, the dance just stops and we go no where. I can pinpoint times in our marriage when either one or the other of us did not do our part well, and the result was....well....you can imagine. Not to say that we didn't grow or learn from the experience because we did. Which leads us to where we are today. We are in a stage of our marriage that I feel we both know our part well and we are functioning in that role well (there is still always room for growth). This has come from years of trial and error, learning from each other, shedding tears or laughing about mistakes, and growing together. My husband is a great lead both on the dance floor and off, and I am so thankful to be dancing life's dance with God as the "band" and Alan as my partner. The dance of life will always change, the music will be different, the tempo will vary, but we will stay with the music and dance our way through every season of life.