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Baby sharks and swim lessons
Marg-Ins 6-19-24

If I thought my daughter grew up fast, nothing could adequately prepare me for how fast time is flying by as I watch my granddaughter blossom.

Yes, she isn’t quite yet two-and-a-half but her growth and development right now seem to be happening at hyper speed.

She has a determined streak that often makes her poor mom pull her hair out and call me in times of distress wondering what to do with this challenging child. She can be kind and loving, so sweet you can’t believe it one minute but in the next is flinging her shoes or crayons or whatever is within reach across the room in frustration if she can’t do something she is trying to do.

All that aside, she recently displayed her sweet, slightly sassy side when she took the stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts. She was enrolled in dance class (a Mommy and Me for two- and three-year-olds) and one of the options for the class was to take part in the dance studio’s annual program. My daughter thought that sounded good so she got Lorelei signed up for the recital. Well, it got here way faster than we imagined; several Wednesday mornings of class paved the way for two nights of being on the stage. Of course, it was a relatively short and simple routine, roughly a minute in length with different moves to the infamous ‘Baby Shark’ song. They did several exercises in class and had a time to visit the tumbling room while also working on the dance steps and though my daughter also practiced with her at home, our fear was she would be on stage and freeze when the lights came up and the music came on.

It was truly just the opposite; she seemed to be energized out there, remembering every motion that went along with the song and even singing along, smiling the whole time. Her favorite part was ‘the big finish’ when they got to jump into the air and then ‘stick’ the landing, with their arms and feet spread out as the song proclaims: “It’s the end.” Night one, she stuck the landing and then ran off the stage before any of her fellow dancers moved. Night two, I got to be backstage with her so my daughter could sit in the audience and enjoy the performance. They had helpers that were responsible for getting the tiny dancers into position on the stage in between the acts – this was a huge recital, some two-and-a-half hours but her dance was the fifth one in – and on Saturday night, Lorelei once again enjoyed the clapping and cheering from the crowd during the dance. She got a little ahead of schedule, though, and did her big finish leap in the middle of running off stage.

But it was a success; the fact that she was so brave on stage and ate up the applause; we may be in trouble.

She’s also back in swimming lessons this summer and we recently enjoyed the first day ever of her not screaming and crying during the short session. We were told last year by the instructor that screaming is natural and expected; she had some tears the first week this year but the first day of week two, she got in the pool without a problem and there was no gnashing of teeth, no screeching. Probably the fact her instructor happened to be at Gallo and saw her perform and complimented her on the dancing gave her that extra boost of confidence to approach swimming with just as much effort.

Hyper speed. No telling what the rest of the summer is going to bring.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.