Expressions and Impressions

It’s July in Kansas.  It’s hot.  It’s sticky.  It’s Kansas.  The girls, however, struggle to realize that once you move from the air-conditioned comfort of the house to the sticky, bug-ridden backyard–well, it gets miserable fast.  Nevertheless, throughout dinner last night Nora randomly exclaimed “BACK-YARD! BACK-YARD!”  Tessa chimed in, “PARK! PARK!”.  So we had to figure out something to do.

So, we settled on going to the bookstore at a nearby mall.  They love the kids section there and we can read books and play with the “CHOO CHOO TRAIN! CHOO CHOO TRAIN! CHOO CHOO TRAIN!”  ok ok ok…

Not only was the bookstore a great success but to top it off there was outdoor live music.  There were a lot of people there.  Mostly sitting in chairs, relaxing and taking in the music.  The girls really love music.  They were doing their routine of swaying and crooning back and forth, back and forth.  They really get into the music.  Sometimes I think it’s a fine balance to allow children to enjoy participating in an experience while not eclipsing the performance itself.  We stand to the side, out of the way, but close enough that that the kids can see and experience the joy of music.  Seeing one child singing and dancing is enough to draw a few smiles and approving glances, but seeing two little kids who are spitting images of each other (no matter how much I try to make them look like their own person) really starts to draw a crowd.  And so, a crowd started to gather.

Then some young woman, about my age, came up and asked if she could take some pictures of them.


My best guess is that she was on staff at the mall or from one of the radio station sponsors and was getting pictures for marketing materials.  So, sure.  Take some pictures.  I’m proud.  The girls are cute.

So we continue to croon on and then another woman comes up to me and asks me if we go to the Oak Park farmer’s market.  Again–huh?

We did once.  I thought about blogging about the market, but it was rather uneventful.  Just a way to pass the time on a beautiful Saturday morning.  We pushed our way through the crowded market with the girls in our arms.  I remember that we stopped for just a moment to smell some pretty flowers at one stand.  “Fluwers!” Nora exclaimed.  Both girls scrunched up their noses and gave a loud snort of the various bouquets.   About 10 steps away from that stand a man called out to me, “Ma’am! Here are some flowers for your girls!” He handed me a neat, tight assortment of tiny flowers in an old glass bottle.  I thought it was strange that he went so far out of his way to give away flowers that he was selling at the market.  We pushed on and at the end of the market there were a couple of guys playing guitars and we stopped for a bit to sing and sway and sing and sway.  The girls made friends with a couple of other kids and they all started hopping, skipping and dancing to the music.   At one point one of the singers acknowledged Nora and Tessa and their enthusiastic participation.  I think performers appreciate it when they see such uninhibited joy coming from someone who is clearly enjoying the performance.  Later we had some lunch and packed up to go home.  It was fun, but rather uneventful.

“Is that Nora and Tessa?” the woman at the mall asked me.  “I remember them from the market–they were dancing at the market!  They were so fun to watch.”

Wow.  Seriously?  You remember my kids (and their names) who were dancing for 30 minutes at a market that we went to one time a month ago?  So, now not only do have we have an audience and a photographer, but we have groupies.


As a fond parent, I sometimes worry that I might overthink the impact of my children on the greater community.  Of course I think they are cute and fun to watch and they fill my life with such sheer happiness with their sense of humor and pure spirits.  But I try to adjust my view of the girls through my mommy-colored glasses and not exhault them.  While they are the world to me, I understand that my love and amazement of them is compounded by the fact that they are my kids.  I know that there are many people who love and admire the girls, but my mommy ego sometimes explodes upon the realization that complete strangers are giving them flowers, taking their picture and remembering them from momentary, and seemingly uneventful, episodes in time.  Sometimes I am struck by the impression that Nora and Tessa do make on other people.  While the initial allure of the girls may be their twinage, it is their explosive and engaging personalities that draw people in and make a lasting impression.  Their uninhibited song and dance and giggles and flirty glances at people around them bring those people joy and happiness.

And, for that reason, I am struck with awe and pride that I get to share in their lives.  To me they are wonderful.  But to others, they are also wonderful.  And for that, I give thanks.

One thought on “Expressions and Impressions”

  1. Nora and Tessa’s fame reaches much farther than Kansas City. You see, Aunt Joyce, Cousin Layne and I like to play the “Nora and Tessa Blog Game” which involves checking for new posts as SOON as we log in to our computers, and then, if we come across a new one, frantically writing an email to the other two with subject lines like “I WIN I WIN!!” 🙂 And since we are terrible about commenting, I wanted you both to know how much we enjoy reading about Nora and Tessa’s adventures. They get cuter with every post, and they’ve got some great dance moves 🙂

    Cousin Callie

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