“Mom, please don’t dance.” I hear that request about once a day. (At least she
uses “please”, right?)

I think my tween daughter must have recurring nightmares of me busting into
the Electric Slide or the MC Hammer on aisle three of the grocery store with her
skulking behind the canned vegetables, traumatized. Well, there was that one time
they played “Billie Jean” in Publix…

Anyway, I get these gentle reminders in the car when we are going places. I also get
frequent requests not to sing or talk about “that time when I was her age…” when
she has friends over. In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of rules when you
become the mom of a tween-ager. They have a fear of parental embarrassment of
such magnitude that their pre-adolescent reputations will never recover.

She’s given me a complex. No singing. No dancing. In public. Ever.

So, I found myself standing on the back wall of our preschool worship room at
church watching my precious 4 year old class lift their hands and wave them back
and forth. “Hosanna!” they sang at the top of their lungs. That really is just so sweet.
I thought to myself. Then it hit me. This moment is what it’s all about. Preschool
worship is the most genuine, non-judgmental, unfiltered and joyous experience of
praising our Heavenly Father that you will ever have. Not just to observe. But to
experience. And there I was, watching from the sidelines.

No more! I thought. From now on, I am participating! There is no “too old”, “too
loud” or “too excited” in preschool worship; all are welcome! And from that
moment on, I made the decision to join in. Not just to join in, but to join in with
gusto.

What a joyous gift for me, not to just watch, but to stand next to my little friends
in Christ, singing and praising Jesus together. As a bonus, I noticed that when they
saw me participating, when they saw me worshipping alongside them, their smiles
got wider, their motions got bigger and their voices grew louder and louder. And
they’re still not too embarrassed to wave at me in the hall or give me a big hug, even
after they’ve seen all my retro dance moves.

It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a preschool volunteer.
So don’t waste your time being a Preschool Worship Wallflower like I was, get in
there and experience it for yourself! You’ll never regret it.

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