Saturday, June 26, 2010

Care to Dance?

Last night as I was preparing dinner, I dropped one of my CD’s into the radio Scott had given me for my birthday a few years ago. Tonight was a Jann Arden/ Susan Tedeschi kind of night. I remember how, as a child, I enjoyed it when my mother played her old albums on the huge console stereo we kept in the living room. I could almost feel the mighty voices of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby coming up from the floor, through my feet, and escaping out every pore in my skin. I can’t say I recollect too many female voices of my youth, and I know for certain there were no “empowered” women who played guitar like Orianthi, or could bang out a drum solo like Sheila E., residing in the depths of my mother’s console. But I think it’s very important for my daughters to see women in non-traditional roles, for them to know they are limited only by their refusal to depend on God for His strength and planning.

We kept the radio on through dinner, and as we cleared the table; by now Susan was belting out "You Need to Be with Me." I found myself lost in a sassy little blues rift that drove my hips to wiggling and my head to wobbling. As I bopped around the kitchen, I recalled an occasion not long after I met my husband’s children. They were dancing effortlessly around the living room of Scott’s condo, completely enrapt and utterly uninhibited. They urged me to join them, and I remember giving a wiggle or two and feigning a fit of silliness in order to collapse on the sofa and watch them instead; I was not as fearless as they.  I felt like a chump.  I'd finally met someone who allowed, even encouraged me to let my hair down and be myself, and here I was, begging off in front of his children. 

Fast forward almost four years later, we laugh together, we play together, we even dance together and, yes, it is as if no one is watching.  The moments I have shared with Scott and our children are moments that during the years of doubt, fear, and self-consciousness I would have never imagined, much less accepted.  I remember gagging at the idea of drinking after one of my own children.  I demanded privacy in the bathroom, and would have died of embarrassment if another adult had seen me tumble into the creek like I did two summers ago.  But thanks to a life with understanding rather than judgment, and creativity instead of rigidity, I have blossomed, and so, I believe have our children.  Even those who have a tough time acting a little off-kilter, have succumbed to some wackiness now and then; despite what they might tell those on the outside, form and fashion isn't always important, and being yourself can be fun!  (You know who you are!)

As I write this, Olivia is standing in front of the desk wiggling and bopping to no music at all.  Madison just this minute popped in singing a Katy Perry song as if Katy herself was cheering her on. It makes me wonder about the possibilities if we could all treat others the way we would like to be treated; if we would look at others with the eyes of children, and just ask them to join  in the dance.

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