Both Smush and Squiggly seem to be very musically inclined. Is it because we listen to a lot of music in the house? Probably not. Is is because I started to take Smush to Mommy, Music and Me starting when she was maybe 8months old? Probably not. Is it because FIL plays an organ and we dance a lot in their living room? Probably not. Is it all of the above? Possibly. It doesn't really matter. The result is the same. Both of them love to move to the music, whether it's Squiggly conducting the music or Smush jumping around under the guise of dance, they love music.
While we aren't sending Smush to school yet (more on that in another post,)we do want her to be able to spend time with children her age. We signed Smush up for her first dance class. There are many other girls in the neighborhood in the class and so even though they might be coming from school, these are girls that she will see in shul each week, so they will be familiar to her. The class doesn't start until the middle of September, but she is already SOOOOOO excited. Every day since I told her she was going to take a dance class she has asked if today is the day it meets. This is very similar to her feelings on Pajama Storytime at the library. Each time she gets signed up and knows about it she asks about it every day from sign up until it actually happens, and then each day after she asks if it's time for another Pajama Storytime. I am really enjoying this stage!
As for the dance class, we need to prepare, so I am hoping that preparing will help her understand time and preparations. She will need ballet shoes and tap shoes, a leotard and tights. The shoes will most likely be the most difficult. I have posted on our shul list to see if anyone has any we can have, and have several offers, however, she has a wide foot and so I am not sure if any of the shoes offered will fit. A bunch of people recommended Payless as they are in their BOGO, which would be fine, except that none of their dance shoes seem to come in wide. Ah! The challenges of footwear. (another post idea is forming.... but this is about dance!)
I am also hoping to use the idea of preparing to help her better understand just the idea of preparing for an event or events and in turn using that to help her to prepare for Rosh Hashanah. Most likely she is too young to fully understand why we prepare for Elul, but it's worth a shot. At three she surprises us to no end (did you know that dead people are in cemeteries buried in the dirt and that the monster fish doesn't really swim so much?) and I am actually pretty confident that she will "get" it on some level. While I am not sure what type of preparations a three year old should be making in Elul, I certainly need to be preparing. The past couple of years have been life changing, with having children, and my own preparations have been limited in a way that I am not thrilled with. I need to reclaim some time for myself and prepare for the new year and I have decided that Smush will help me do that. She is ready to help me cook for the holidays, she is ready to help me decorate for the holidays, she will be helping me to prepare spiritually for the holidays, whether she knows it or not!
A blogging friend, (and long time real life friend) Ima2Seven has written about teshuvah being hard, and about taking an accounting of our lives to be prepared for our audit by Hashem. (my synopsis, not hers) Does a three year old have anything to take account of? Probably not, but I know that if we start preparing early, then it will be second nature as she gets older. I hope to do the same with Squiggly when he is older. If we learn as we grow about how hard teshuvah is, perhaps we can also learn to make better choices throughout the year, and ultimately not have as much to make amends for.