Our dear little family has discovered a bonding point: Zumba for Kinect.
Oh the hilarity it must be for our neighbors to watch the four of us, clad in special Zumba clothing, bouncing about in the family room. I imagine that to the casual observer we must appear to be a motley crew consisting of two tall ones, each in various stages of Flail, and two small ones, whose moves all seem to morph into synonyms for hopping and jumping, and with wiggling arms added.
On most afternoons you will find us all thusly, progressing in our various ways through classes. I used to get worried about "keeping up appearances" when it came to the magical Zumba Hour. Before starting any class, I go around closing blinds and shutting windows so as to keep alive the mental image I have in my head of just how staggeringly amazing we all, in fact, look while doing Zoka Zumba. I have a distinct feeling that seeing our neighbors' laughing faces and pointing fingers will kill that image completely. I have since dropped the pretense and all windows and blinds stay open now. How bad can it honestly be, right? (Don't answer that. Let's keep the dream alive).
Besides all the great health benefits that go along with having an exercise program, I've also enjoyed watching the girls really get into it. Sure, getting them going was like asking paint to just dry faster, but they've really come around in the last few months. They each have their own little "Zumba Station"; an individual space meant just for her, to hop, and flail, and Zumba to her little heart's content. After we go through a whole class, with each girl taking breaks now and again, they'll step up and spend some time choosing their favorite songs and dancing to those. They're gaining a lot of coordination, balance, and timing that they didn't have before.
As they complete the challenging steps, they'll each start a chorus of "Mother! Come see us! Watch what we can do!" Each new step they "master" is a source of complete and utter pride for them; that they want to share their accomplishment with their mom is a source of joy for me. These two are sweethearts, through and through.
"Mama, look! I can do it. I keep practicing. Watch me---it's sooooo tricky. But see? I can do it anyway!" Gold star and a hug for my Caedance.
"Mom! Mom! This step is really hard. Really. But see, when I keep trying, it's easier now. I didnt' give up, and now I can do it!" Gold star and a hug for my Ashlyn.
They're not just mastering random dance moves; they're learning the value of not giving up, and trying until you succeed.
Would you look at that? Who would have thought Zumba came with Life Lessons? Smiles all around.