Monday, May 23, 2016

(Watching) Dancing through the weekend........

These two sweet girls had their dance recitals this weekend (thanks to Gwen for this great picture).  This was Ellie's first ever recital and Lia's 7th recital!  The studio that they attend is so large that there were three separate recitals and the girls danced on different days.  Being a typical grandma I couldn't just go to one, so I went to both!  It was so worth the long drives back and forth and sitting through the 2.5 hour program TWICE to see these two special dancers.  It was pretty clear that both girls LOVE to dance and both showed the crowd exactly how much they loved to perform.  Today I was talking to the girls about the recital and I asked them which group was their favorite.  Ellie said she liked the little girls (like her age) and Lia said that she loved the "Pointe" group.  This is the first time that Lia has ever seen the recital in person.  She has always been "back stage" and only sees the DVD after the fact.  Next year, as she moves to a higher level she will add an extra Ballet class each week. So she is working towards being on her toes in the future and part of that Pointe group.  I can't wait to see how far these two dancers go.  I see them dancing off into a bright and happy place!

Over the last few weeks, I have loved watching along with the grandkids, the wonder that is a butterfly!  I didn't get a picture of these the first day they arrived, but let me tell you they were SMALL!  Think little tiny black lines in this container.

After just one week, this is what they looked like!  I was shocked at how much they had grown.  This is a really neat kit that you can get that is all self contained.  The caterpillars are totally cared for in that jar, eating the "goo" that is in the bottom.  Eventually they spun their chrysalis on the lid of that jar.  (Again, I didn't get a picture).  The lid is moved to a special box inside of this "Butterfly House" and you wait for them to hatch.  Today I got to see the last of their five butterflies emerge!  It was really so amazing and something that I have never seem.  These Painted Lady butterflies will spend a few days stretching their wings and eating the fruit and flowers that the kids have left in their house.  I actually got to see one eating some orange today!   Then there will be a wonderful day when these are released to fly away!

Watching the dance recital was a lot like watching time pass right in front of you.  The little "Pre-ballet" dancers come on stage and you can't help but smile and clap as they twirl and do their steps. Here is sweet Lia, age 3 (soon to be 4) ready for her first ever recital.  I couldn't resist adding this picture!
And as you watch, you can see the kids progressing up through the ranks and soon they are the student assistants and teachers.  The oldest teens danced amazingly.  The lyrical dance was my favorite. This studio is actually owned and run by a women who started at this exact studio as a preschooler.  She eventually became a teacher and then bought the studio when the owner wanted to retire!  Each year their are the "graduating seniors" who dance their last recital and are "set free to fly away" on to new adventures.  Always a bittersweet moment with lots of tears.  

I am so thankful for this studio and the opportunity that Lia and Ellie (and most likely Anna as soon as she is old enough) have to grow up in this dance family.  Today as I was watching those butterflies in their house, I was thinking about the protection and safety offered by that house.  Those butterflies are able to grow up and be ready to be released.  And Lia and Ellie are gaining so much through this dance experience.  They have confidence and courage to perform in a huge auditorium. Not only do they need to know the steps, but they have to learn to cooperate and dance together as a group.  It takes hours of practice and lots of commitment.  These are really important life skills. It is such a blessing that Lia and Ellie can grow in all these ways, while simply having so much fun and loving dancing so much! 

I learned a lot this weekend.  I learned that time is really going by very fast.  It just didn't seem possible that this was the 7th recital!  I saw joy and wonder on the faces of these kids as they danced their hearts out.  I learned that not every butterfly is perfect - but that is okay.  And I also learned that the process is important.  It's not good to rush it.  Just sit back and watch. 

I had lots of time in the car and that gave me plenty of time to think and pray. Thinking about how fast time seemed to be passing...... well it was a good reminder to really be present in each day and not to spend time worrying about what is ahead.  And it was great to remember that everybody should dance every day!  When you get up and move things just don't seem as bad/sad/impossible as they did before.  Yes, it was a great weekend.  

Jesus, thank you for darling little dancers that bring joy and wonder back into our hearts.  Thank you for time to think and pray - even if it is during long car rides.  Holy Spirit, help us each to dance in each day and let go of worry about tomorrow.  Jesus, thank you for the amazing transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly!  Thank you for transforming each of us!  Amen

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