I have two kids, sixteen years apart. Yes, 16 years. Both of their odometers turn over within the next three weeks. Neneé will be 24 on Tuesday and Yoda 8 the second week of August. (We have lots of spring/summer birthdays.)
There are vast differences between the two in addition to their ages, genders and family circumstances, but one thing remains the same – how I feel when we dance together.
Dancing with my children is a delight I will never tire of.
I danced with my children before they could do anything more that eat, sleep and eliminate. With each month they grew, the rhythm and movements took on more shared emotions.
We went from comforting motion that put them to sleep and soothed my frayed nerves, to dips and swings that brought forth joyous giggles and belly laughs.
Mostly we dance in the living room, but we have danced in super markets, elevators and down sidewalks.
My daughter and I danced to everything from Glenn Miller to the Footloose soundtrack. One that stands out for me is Johnny Nash’s classic I Can See Clearly Now. We would twirl and jump around to that beat over and over again. I still have smiling visions of her beboppin’ about the living room, wearing her pink dress with the puffy sleeves.
My son and I get funky with everything in our 78 single collection to the most recent Lady GaGa. Last night we were doing our version of some saucy dance to Bette Midler’s cover of Rosemary Clooney’s Mambo Italiano, complete with dip at the end.
I’ve held both of my kids tightly, crying while dancing to Nilsson’s Can’t Live Without You.
One funny thing about dancing with them – they’ve never been embarrassed by it. I may on occasion be the meanest mom in the world, but each have grabbed me and waltzed me down the grocery aisle on their own volition.
Even when I not allowed to kiss my 8 year old in public anymore, I can count on him to accompany me in an impromptu, made up disco dance in the store. The boy has rhythm for sure.
My daughter and I have a mending relationship right now, so I was caught off guard and thrilled when she pulled me into a dance in the aisle of Trader Joe’s one visit. My heart beats a little faster even now with the joy that she remembers.
Dancing with my children means love to me. Its a shared and cherished experience that touches the deepest part of my heart even when we are just being plain silly.
So be kind and don’t think me crazy when I am out and begin to hum along with the satellite music, doing a little jig with a distant smile on my face. I’m just dancing with my children.