Through the grainy monitors, I see them

Jan 29

I’m sitting at dance class, watching my girls in their classes on the monitors.

Maren is the least wiggly kid in her hip hop class.  She repeats the precise movements of her teacher and practices as many times as she can in the allotted time so she can get it just right.  What she lacks in rhythm, she’ll inevitably make up up for with determination.  I can see her dimple flashing most of the time, even though the monitor is of grainy quality.  Her eyes follow the off-screen teacher, and I can see that Maren could probably repeat the entire forty-five minute class for me in her bedroom later tonight with the tenacity in which she is paying attention.  She is so determined to get it right.  With her work ethic, her respect, her smiles, she’s already got it all right.  The pre-class tears about stage anxiety over the recital that is four months away are on a back burner now.  It’s that dimple that makes my mama-heart beat.  Teasing out that dimple will be one of the greatest pleasures in this life.

Greta is in a class with five dots on the floor.  Each girl is assigned a dot, and Greta is on dot number three.  As the other girls count off with the teacher “5, 6, 7, 8” and perform corresponding moves involving toe-pointing and flourishes (ballet is not my area of expertise…), Greta does a signature G twirl and then hides her face in her hands until the music/counting stops.  Five times in a row, I watch this happen.  It’s like a bizarre live worksheet of “Which of these does not belong?”  She’s enthusiastic about her moves.  Her interest in the teacher and blending in with her peers is minimal to nonexistent.  I thought it got a bit better when they changed from ballet shoes to tap shoes.  At least in the tap shoes she jumps/hops/marches constantly because she’s thrilled with the volume she can personally generate.  Again, she’s completely aloof to the beat, rhythm and choreography demonstrated by everyone else in the room, but at least they are  all noisy.  I’m already looking forward to this recital; Greta guarantees it will be entertaining.

And yes of course I’m high-fiving myself every which way possible for signing my girls up for dance class at the same studio, on the same night, at the same time.  Parenting win!


  1. Lisa Smith /

    Lovely!! xo

  2. What fun reliving my own dance class lesson experience through your girls. My “little dancer” did not excel in tap or ballet, but she gained valuable self-confidence that serves her well to this day. For 5 years, my little boy had to go to those Friday night lessons with me…and believe it or not, he never once complained. These are such fun years…enjoy every minute! ♥p

  3. I am amazed at the blessing of the monitors, the parenting WIN of getting both girls in different classes at the same studio on the same night at the same time (those should be in all-CAPS, it’s that amazing!), and the way that God brings such different people together into one family.
    Your descriptions of your daughters’ personalities and specific traits will be a blessing to you ten and twenty years from now — when they are in their teens and then as young adults — and you look back with fondness and amazement. I’ve been so grateful that I took the time to record such little snippets of life when my kids were young; with the passage of time, we often forget the sweet moments, sayings, and thoughts. Because it is written down, we’ll never truly forget that one of my boys called clouds “bubbles.”

  4. Aunt annie /

    Jen, I am thoroughly enjoying your stories about Greta and Maren. I’m looking forward to their recital!