A Small Moment

My youngest granddaughter, Poppy, has always been intensely stage shy. She was “too scared” to dance in her ballet class’s performance when she was four, then declined piano lessons because she didn’t want “the piano teacher looking at me.” And at her class’s Christmas performance she stood frozen on stage, her mouth sealed shut.

But yesterday, when she graduated from La Plazita Preschool, she was able to walk solo to the microphone and announce in a strong sweet voice, looking out at the audience, “Mon nombre es Izel Poppy, y quando sera grande quiero ser una ballerina. (My name is Izel Poppy, and when I will be big, I want to be a ballerina.)”

Just that much. But what a thrill. This tiny girl, who had always been so afraid of being “stared at,” had been able to make an announcement with all the authority a five-year-old can muster. When I looked over at my son and daughter-in-law, they were leaning forward, looking directly ahead, huge smiles blooming on their faces. And when I looked again, I saw they both had tears in their eyes–as did I.

Each time I think again of this moment, I feel the same intense jolt of emotion, the same expansion of my chest as it fills with pride. This was, perhaps, a small moment, but it will be part of my granddaughter’s life from now on. And how all of us present will enjoy reminding her of her achievement again and again and again, as this “small” moment echoes and resonates throughout the rest of her life.

Fort Bragg Sand Dunes


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