It’s the final day of the Music for Young Children class and my nearly 3-year old daughter is restless.
Over the past several weeks, parents and kids have been introduced to musical instruments in the casual setting of a church hall. Depending on the day, the wood-paneled walls have reverberated with a symphony of sounds created by little ones playing maracas, castanets, tambourines, triangles, guiros and (on special days) two big round drums.
It’s been great fun and my daughter has enjoyed the bangs, clangs and tings. But on this day, all she can think about is the church nursery, located behind a creaky old door at the back of the building. A veritable cornucopia of toys, the church nursery is to children what a discount designer shoe store is to moms — right down to the crying jags when it’s time to go home.
This informal course has been a terrific learning (and growing) experience for my only child — the first real group activity she has been involved in outside of a few small library storytelling sessions.
On day one, while most other kids raced to the instructor to collect their instruments, mine clasped my hand tightly while saying, “Come on Mommy. Come with me.” Several weeks in, she boldly tiptoed to the front and reached into the castanet bag before quickly racing back to me, clickety-clickety-click. Progress.
Mind you, I wasn’t the only one with a shy toddler. Case in point, the mom with the set of boy/girl twins. I had met Sharon once or twice before and although our kids were close in age; they were all too timid (and busy clinging to our legs) to give one another a glance.
But on this, the final day of the Music for Young Children class, my nearly 3-year old daughter and Sharon’s little girl surprised (and delighted) us.
I don’t recall who made the first move but I do remember the words, “toys back there” being spoken by my child. And then… it happened. Two bashful little girls, both in pink ballerina slippers, stood side by side and reached their tiny little hands out to one another.
I watched them as they held onto each other like old friends as they slowly left the maraca-shaking crowd and headed down the hall, to the nursery.
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