Lilli and Valé started a little dance class this week. It’s the first for either of them, and two more excited dancers you would never find. Now Valé is six, and just finished kindergarten. Hers is a pleaser-type personality, and she really likes to be the teacher’s favorite, often achieving just that. We all knew she’d have no problem listening and doing exactly what was asked of her.

Lilli’s a little different.

She listens (most of the time), does what you ask (most of the time), but is pretty easily distracted (all of the time). I’ve wondered whether it would be something she would carry with her into her school experience, or if it’s just her own three-year-old experience. Neither would surprise me. When Emmie told me that she was going to put her in this little dance class, I thought it would be really good for her, but wondered if it would hold her attention long enough for her to grasp the concepts. There was part of me that could easily envision the class learning to plié while Lilli was twirling around the room. 😉

So, yesterday, when I got this video, I was pretty excited, and a little tickled. Lilli’s the one in the black leotard, in the middle.

I shook my head in amazement as I watched her paying attention and listening like a champ, and it was in that moment that I realized that Lilli is likely no more easily distracted that any of us.

She’s just got selective hearing and focus.

If she is interested in a thing, it’s got her attention. If not, then, well…she’ll twirl around the room. She’ll opt for what feels good to her, at any given moment, just like any of the rest of us in the world. It’s human nature, and she’s only three, after all. But one day, she’s going to have to learn that she needs to pay attention to some things that may not feel that great, but still need addressing. And if she twirls away from those things in search of what feels better, she’ll miss out on some pretty important life lessons.

I overheard the following coming from the TV in the other room, on a commercial for what I think must’ve been a movie. It had passed by the time I got in there, but I thought the words worth repeating:

Too often, going after what feels good, means letting go of what you know is right.

None of us wants to hear that, but it’s the truth.

There may come a time when she’s being taught a dance step that’s really hard, and requires a lot from her, and makes her want to turn from it. But, if she does, she’ll find that it was the basic step on which all the other grandiose steps were built, and, while she’s twirling about the room, the rest of the class will be soaring above her.

Yes, thankfully, one day she’ll find that listening and focusing on what’s right is what keeps her in step at all. I’m just praying that day comes sooner than later, for our darling tiny dancer.

(And for us, too!)


“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25 ESV

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” Matthew 7:13-14 MSG