the face of joy

Last night, big sister was working on her solo ballet routine. In the last five minutes of the lesson, I am always called in to be the audience. Normally, her teacher has me film the performance as a learning tool.

Don't film this time, just watch. Tell us if you notice anything different. 

I wasn't sure I would be able to see what they wanted me to, I have no training in dance. And my eyes are often blurred by tears.

But as soon as the music started and she moved across the room, I could see. Her face. There was so much joy. It lit up the room, it lit up my heart.

Should we tell Mom what you used for inspiration?

My oldest daughter—my teacher, my sidekick, my helper, my sibling wrangler, my diaper changer, my cuddle giver—looked at me and said:

I imagined the baby's face when she painted at the party. She was so happy. 


In the car on the way home, I told her the baby was happy because she got to paint with her sisters.

I know, she said.

At some point during the party, another parent took in the sight of my three girls clustered together and asked:

Are your children always so sweet to one another?

I've written before about the many ways my children surprise me. Watching one of my daughters find inspiration in her sister was one of them.

She is continually asked to help with her siblings, and still she filled with happiness when she saw her baby sister's joy.  And then she held onto it and expressed it in her dance.

It was a moment worthy of being filmed with my heart instead of a camera—my face seeing hers.

My joy mirroring her joy. 

My inspiration right in front of me—just like hers.