(I’m writing a children’s book called “The Many Adventures of Sofia Evelina”. It is a contemplation of short stories loosely based on my middle daughter Sofia; a wild, blue eyed, blonde haired, overly dramatic, girl, whom I love more than anything in the world. Each story has a theme and teaches kids about the power of their words; practicing gratitude and making positive declarations.)
The Day Sofia Evelina Didn’t Want to Dance
It was the first day of ballet class for Sofia Evelina. She had been looking forward to it all summer, and now the day was finally here! She opened the dance studio door wide and waltzed in like she owned the place. She looked up and stopped. “Oh, this place is so much different than I thought. There are so many bigger girls that are amazing dancers!”
Suddenly she felt so small and afraid. “What if I can’t dance?” she thought. “What if I’m not a good dancer? What if I fall and all the other girls laugh at me? What if I can’t learn the steps and the teacher yells at me? I don’t think I can do this!”
She glanced into one of the studio rooms as she walked down the hall. There were girls just a little older than her dressed in their suits, tights and ballet slippers, practicing their jumps and turns. “That looks amazing!” she thought. “Will I ever be as good as them? Yeah, I don’t think me being here is a good idea.” She shook her head and said, “Mom, I want to go home. I don’t want to dance anymore.”
Her mom let go of her hand, turned and knelt down to face Sofia. She brushed the hair off Sofia’s face and said, “Honey, I know this might be scary for you, but you can do this! Besides, you’ve committed to do this for a year, and you have to keep your commitment.”
Holding back tears, she nodded her head, turned around and walked into her studio room. Her teacher, Miss Katie, was so nice and welcoming, which made Sofia feel a bit better. There were 7 other girls in her class. “Okay,” said Miss Katie, “today we are going to learn what first position is.”
“Nope, that’s it! I can’t do it!” Sofia said. She turned around and walked to the back corner of the room. Sitting with her knees to her chest, she put her face in her hands and cried.
Miss Katie called out to her, “Sofia, why are you in the corner? Come join us!”
“I don’t want to dance! I want to go home!” Sofia sobbed. Miss Katie called for Sofia’s mom to come talk to her.
Again, Sofia’s mom knelt down in front of her. “Okay, maybe we should do this differently. Sofia, what’s one thing we always do first when we’re going through a difficult time?”
“Say what we’re thankful for.”
“Okay, so let’s do that now.”
Sofia took a deep breath. “I’m thankful that I have parents that will take me to dance. I’m thankful I can go to dance. I’m thankful I have two arms and legs, and a healthy body to do different things like dance. I’m thankful that God has made me strong enough to dance and exercise. I’m thankful for the other girls that are in this class that will be my friends. I’m thankful I can learn new and different things.”
“Very good!” said Sofia’s mom. “What’s the next thing we do?”
“Make declarations,” replied Sofia.
“That’s right. So why don’t you go ahead and declare.”
“I declare that I CAN do this. I WILL be a good dancer. I WILL work hard and take ONE step at a time. I WILL be patient with myself and give myself grace. When I fall I WILL get back up and keep trying. And when I feel I can’t do it, I know God will give me strength.” Sofia kept repeating these things until she really believed them. Then, with her newfound confidence, she got up and stood with the rest of her class.
“I’m so glad you’re rejoining us Sofia!” said Miss Katie.
“Thank you,” Sofia replied. She paused, smiled then said, “Just one step at a time. I got this!”