Julie Lyles Carr: Big Love

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Love

This is what joy looks like.

To pursue with discipline and passion what you love. And to do it.

2 of 8 has been in love with dance a long time now.

But she wasn't necessarily the one we thought would be the dancer.

It was 1 of 8 who originally started out as the dance addict. She loved, loved it. Wanted to be at the studio every time the door was open. Danced with abandon and artistry. 1 of 8 seemed to have the quirky, artistic soul of a dancer.

And 2 of 8 was our little statistician.

We used to giggle at the difference between the girls' performance styles. 1 of 8 would come to the center of the stage and create a reality all her own, music becoming visible.

And 2 of 8 would march to the center of the stage like an engineer, counts and measures running like a ticker tape through her mind's eye.

But then something shifted.

It was subtle.

But it was something about the way 2 of 8 began to hold her arms, something about the posture of her hands as she moved through her steps.

It simply looked like quiet love. And devotion.

Devotion to a difficult art form. Devotion to the discipline it would take.

When we moved three years ago, the girls had to miss their recital that spring. We moved in March, the performance just weeks away. But the twins were due any minute, we were in a new city and there was no way to make it all work.

I let the girls take a few classes once we arrived in town. And then they volunteered to take the summer off after the babies were born to help me.

When fall rolled around, 1 of 8 decided she still loved dance but was going to focus on graduating early from high school and enrolling in college. Which she did.

But she took 2 of 8 to a new dance school for me. And 1 of 8 arrived home after watching 2 of 8 in class. 1 of 8 was in tears.

"Mom," she entoned. "2 of 8 is gorgeous. She has missed dance so much. We have to do whatever we can to let her pursue it. She ran the combinations with such passion." And 1 of 8 cried some more.

And 2 of 8 dances still.

She's not showy. She's not a purposeful scene stealer.

But she is this:

She is joy in motion.

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