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My Daughter Didn’t Dance

Today, my daughter didn’t dance, and it broke my heart.

 

Lily-Ann celebrated her sixth birthday almost a week ago.  On July 20th we had friends and a few family members over to the house to help her celebrate.  She’d decided on a Goddess Girls theme this year.  We all dressed in chitons, played games I created based on the characters in the books, ate ambrosia cake and drank nectar punch, and everyone wore the winged sandals we made as our party favours.  After her party, she told me that all her birthday dreams and wishes had come true.  It was an awesome day.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

 

The two weeks leading up to her sixth birthday, the girl had been going through some rather big developmental changes.  It was clear she was becoming a “big kid” and leaving the “baby” behind.  I was so excited for her.  She was growing in leaps and bounds right before my eyes.  I was proud of the conscious choices she was making, and happy for those things that were changing even without her awareness.  As much as I loved my baby, my toddler, and my little girl, I love the big kid she was becoming even more (if that’s possible).

My little girl loved going to the movies.  She loves the stories, the action, the music, the popcorn…  cuddling up in the dark theater.  More than any of that though, she loved to dance.  Ever since that first movie we went to, we’d let her run up to the front as soon as the credits started, and we’d watch her dance.

Those first few times, she’d wipe out…  a lot.  We’d hold back though, and just wait.  Then, with even more resolve, determination, and grit she would dust herself off and dance her heart out.  Sometimes spinning all the way from one side of the theater to the other, arms held wide, face to the sky, feeling the entire world whorl around her.  And she would take my heart along for the ride.

It was secretly my favourite part of the movie too.

There were times, when others would get caught up in her passion too.  When individuals, couples, and families would stay to watch her dance.  Some would clap for her.  Others would tell us how amazing they thought she was.  And there were those who would simply smile, their eyes full of gratitude.

I think her dancing reminded people of joy.  We so easily forget how much of it there is in this world.  We get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and we forget how to be swept up in it.  Joy can fill the heart with rapture and our lives with light.  Lily-Ann gave that back to people, even if it was just for a while.

Today, when the movie ended, and she got up to dance, my heart soared – like it always did.  She got up to the front, and she stood there.  I watched her posture change, and watched that joy melt away.  Then I watched her walk back to her seat.  She sat back down and said “I’m not going to dance today.  Maybe a different day, but not today.”  And I started to bawl.  I wasn’t loud, but I couldn’t stop the tears.  They poured down my face.

Lily wasn’t sad.  She was happy.  But that pure innocent joy, without a care about what anyone could think, was gone.  She really is a big kid, and with that comes both good and bad.  I look forward to what this next stage has in store for us, but I desperately mourn for my baby – who was here with me only weeks ago.

Literacy and Childhood

Childhood is about learning who you are and how you fit into the world.  It’s about trying on as many different hats as possible, and seeing how well you wear each.  It’s about learning through play.

Lily-Ann, building together with some of her school friends.

Lily-Ann, building together with some of her school friends.

 

I really though I’d have a lot to say today… but in all honesty?  I’m tired out after a day of play.  I love spending Thursdays in school with kid kid, but it does wear me out.  Some very positive news came out of today though!

A literacy expert sat in on the girl’s kindergarten class for about an hour this afternoon – and she was excited by the girl.  She’s promised that they will come up with a program that challenges Lily-Ann, one that helps encourage her already present enthusiasm for reading and creative play.  I am feeling so much better knowing that the girl is going to have someone (other than me) pulling for her at school.  Someone who gets just how important it is to not only focus on those who are behind, but those who have the potential to really excel.  So YAY!  🙂

photo a day challenge for january

My Little Pony Toys are Magic!

Last night, while kid-kid was at her weekly sleepover at my parent’s place, Damon and I were at the store.  We excitedly discovered both FS (Fashion Style) Princess Luna and the pink FS Princess Celestia My Little Pony toys at Superstore….  and even better than just finding a toy you’ve been looking for, is finding it at a reduced price!  The MLP collector in my tried to convince Damon that we should buy two of each – one of each to keep mint in box, and one of each for the girl to play with.  LOL  That proved futile, but we did buy one of each – one for the girl and one for me.

Tonight, after supper, I presented the ponies to the girl.  She was ecstatic!  We giggled together, and compared Luna (who is mine) and Celestia (who is hers), talked about how each was similar, how each was different.  We laughed about all the ways we can play with them.  Lily-Ann shared her plans to hold a royal wedding for them, and how my FS Pinkie Pie and her FS Twilight Sparkle could attend.  How tomorrow she is going to lay out all the pony outfits (while she doesn’t have all the FS toys, she does have all their outfits – purchased from a customizer who didn’t need the clothes, only the ponies themselves) and shoes, and how each pony is going to get to have a new outfit for the big event.  How the cutie mark crusaders are going to be the flower girls, and what role each pony will play.

Being so close to bedtime, we didn’t liberate the princesses from their packages…  but we sure had fun talking about her plans for them.  I knew she would be excited about our little surprise for her, but the extent of her delight was a surprise for me.  Now we each have a pink FS pony and a purple FS pony – a fact that thrills her to no end.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  There is nothing like sharing something you love with someone you love.  And I feel so very lucky to have a toy that I loved thirty years ago be that something that can unite us today.  I remember the joy and excitement I felt when enveloped by that “new pony smell” that is the off-gassing of the plastic when the package is first opened, and sharing it with the girl now, it brings back all those same memories for me – and it means the world that I can give that same unbridled (pun obviously intended) happiness to my daughter.

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Now if only Hasbro would send out a WHITE Celestia, the girl’s happiness (and mine as a collector) would be complete.  😉

Choosing to be Inspired.

I’m one of those people who has always found inspiration to be easy.  I’ve always been inspired by whatever surrounds me.  Whether I’m out in the grandiousity (I know, another one of my made-up words) of  Mother Nature or just laying on the floor with one of my dogs…  I find inspiration near by.

What is key, is choosing to be inspired.  Just as one can choose joy, one can choose to be inspired.  Even in a mundane task, like doing the laundry, our choice is there.  Do we feel the warmth of freshly dried towels (whether sun dried or straight out of the dryer) and choose to be taken in by it?  Relishing the fragrance and texture?  or do we power through, refusing to allow our senses any enjoyment from the moment?  Inspiration, like joy, is a choice.

We are constantly surrounded by opportunities for inspiration.  My daughter inspires me multiple times daily.  Now, what serves as her inspiration? LIFE!  Children haven’t learned to suppress their joy and their inspiration…  life just flows through them.  They soak up all they can, and like a sponge that is too full, it flows freely through.  You just have to be a willing vessel, there to catch it all.

Yesterday Lily-Ann painted me a horse.  Her work is becoming more and more true to life, while still retaining that immediacy and fluidity of childhood art.  I love that she uses found objects without any prompting.  In this instance a bit of cotton fluff became the horses blanket.  I’m sharing, in the hopes that a little of my current inspiration can also flow through to you.

Here are a couple other pieces she created for me earlier this month.  Her work requires less and less explanation these days.  It’s a pretty cool development, especially considering only four months ago we had just discovered straight lines.  Before that everything were circles that swirled indefinitely…

Rolling down a hill…

Somehow, somewhere, the simple act of rolling down a hill goes from being an act of pure elation to one that…  well…  is inconceivable.  (yes, I watched The Princess Bride recently)  So here is the wee girlie, finding joy in one of the simplest of ways.

Goofy kid.  😉

rolling, rolling, rolling...

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