Dancing In Brown Sugar

Kara Lawler Toddlers & Pre-School

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These tiny feet belong to a little girl going through the “terrible twos,” or so I’ve been told.

Before 8:00 a.m. this morning, my daughter spilled my coffee, her cereal, and planted herself on the floor of the shower, yelling “No, Mommy” when I opened the door. In turn, I planted myself outside of the door with a fresh cup of coffee and just watched her play. I texted a friend and she told me just to sit and take in how cute it all was.  So I sat and I did just that.

By 12:00 noon, she dumped a bowl of crackers, smeared peanut butter all over my couch, and climbed on the counter and pulled over a vase of flowers she had helped me cut in the garden. She wanted to help arrange them and said “I help, Mommy.” So, we arranged the flowers together and she was very proud. And I smiled and kissed her strawberry blonde head.

Right before her nap, she opened a bag of brown sugar and dumped it all over the floor while I was on the phone with a preschool for her for the fall. As I spoke to the woman about her, she was dancing in the brown sugar as if it were the most natural thing in the world and not the inconvenience I saw. She laughed and danced, her shoulders moving to music only she heard.

As she sat for a minute, I snapped this picture of her feet to send my husband. I wrote “Maggie doesn’t need the beach. This might look like sand, but it’s brown sugar.” He replied with a smiley face and I laughed, too.

Our day went on with a series of similar mishaps–too many to list. But I keep coming back to these tiny feet that belong to a girl who is going through the “terrible twos.” Her tiny feet just don’t seem so terrible and while her actions are trying, most of them made me pause. I paused this morning outside of the shower to sit and drink my coffee and watch her play. I paused and together, we arranged flowers, her face beaming with pride and adoration of a hobby I bet she’ll love forever, just like I do. And later, as I watched her dance in brown sugar, it’s clear to me that this girl makes her own fun and her own joy. And there’s just nothing terrible about it.

She teaches me so much, even as she tries me. In the end, children will show us the way even as we show them. It’s such a dance, really, and I guess sometimes, it’s a dance in brown sugar.

Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me. I know these days are long on some days, but maybe dancing in brown sugar isn’t such a bad idea? Dance with us, my friends.



About the Author

Kara Lawler

Mostly a mother, wife, and English teacher, Kara writes about the divide that is mothering her children while still mothering her spirit and the sacred. Kara writes on her own blog, , and for . She's been featured on the social media sites for the Today Show and has been published on Parenting.com, Mamapedia, Mamalode, The Mid, and Scary Mommy. Come, join Kara's tribe on .

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