(Scroll down to lower right and pause the Playlist to hear the video.)
This story began eight years ago. My little man was three, dressed in new white shoes, his nearly white blonde hair combed soft and smooth. I snapped a picture of a nervous smile.
We waited outside for the doors to open. "Is it time yet?!" His excitement was building. Soon. A sunny, smiling face opens the door, and his eager feet now seize, frozen in uncertainty. I use my best mama words to assure. He moves slowly. The little voice, which moments before begged for the time to arrive, now pleads to retreat. Hand-in-hand we move across the room. I draw him into my lap. Nervous fingers move about inside of mine. The circle rounds out with other mothers, laps filled with little people. The warm face that greeted us joins at the top of the loop. She looks into the eyes of my little man with a greeting smile. He sinks further into my arms.
And then it began. With sure melody she sings, "Welcome to my backyard! Come along with me. I wonder what we'll see? Come along with me!" Years later the tune is fresh in my mind. She taps. She claps. I feel his body relax. I sing along. He responds to the rhythm. And then he's gone. Dancing in the middle of the circle. Do I draw him back? Do I make him sit down? Do I let him dance. I look at her. She has connected with his blue eyes. And she beams. I sing. Inside and out.
For the next few years my little man and I would grow to know this smiling face as Ms. Ginger, his Kindermusik teacher, our lifelong friend. She danced through his good days, sang through his bad days, and hugged him on both. He would nestle in her lap for a story, and it seemed in the blink of an eye I was waving goodbye to an independent little man as I dropped him off for camp. I remember sitting next to Ginger one morning, clapping, tapping, singing now familiar songs, thinking, "I would love to do this one day!" Meeting little ones where they are in their growth. Watching them open like spring buds bursting with potential. Each one different... and beautiful.
I am excited to say that journey now begins!
After months of consideration and planning, we dance! I plan to launch a new Kindermusik studio in August. If you are in the Atlanta area, I hope you will join us!
(And Ginger? Endless thanks.)