Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Dancing with a full heart
Simon entered my life when I was young, embracing his role with honesty, positivity, and love. So much love. There were ups and downs of course - relationships that remain on an even keel are rare. And boring.
Being a step parent is tough. You're always walking a tightrope of caring too much, or stepping over the line, forgetting you're not mom (or dad). Sure, my stepdad slipped a few times, but it didn't take long for him to shape - and embrace - his role. I love him, yes, but I also admire and respect him. His mentorship has been instrumental in my life choices, and his words of wisdom guide me even in adulthood.
I thought of him last night while struggling through Jessica's very difficult Fit Hop class. My beautiful stepdaughter was busting out the moves beside me, panting, and kind of sweating (she never sweats!), but always smiling. She didn't "get it" - knowing when to push right, or pop left. She couldn't keep up with Jessica any better than I could.
But she didn't give up.
A lot of that has to do with the atmosphere at J'Adore Dance , and frankly, the leadership demonstrated by Jessica.
When my stepdaughter moved in with my husband and I last year, I called my stepdad and asked for his advice. He said a lot of things that make sense. But something he said really resonated after listening to my teenager gush about Jessica.
Surround her with positivity. Provide good mentors.
How appropriate for her to join me in this dance adventure.
It's no secret a adore Jessica. I'm blown away by her enthusiasm and beauty. I'm astounded with her business sense. She's a wonderful mother, wife and friend. And I'm so grateful for the opportunity she has provided for me to "find" myself through dance.
But I'm also thankful for the example she is setting for young women.
My stepdaughter commented on Jessica's beauty, she complimented her hawt body, and she admitted that the workout was way harder than she thought. (Sorry Kasha, but Jess busted our butts!) But my teenager also noticed other things. Like how young Jessica is to own such a successful company. How caring and passionate she is about her clients. How her smile is infectious. And how her encouragement makes people want to work harder.
Even my self-admitted somewhat lazy teenager.
My heart is full knowing that my girl looks forward to learning to dance with me. It's an added bonus that we've discovered a place that embodies the advice my stepdad has given me, and a leader my stepdaughter and I can both look up to.
The Book In My Bag Today: Another One Bites the Dust, Jennifer Rardin