At 7:30am, we sat down in the dark basement to catch up on last night’s So You Think You Can Dance.
I’ve never watched it with my daughters before. Normally, it is my summer oasis, my 2-hour escape from reality. But this morning, it was calling, and I thought, Why not? It was a show of nothing but Mia Michaels‘ choreography. I knew it would be the perfect start to my day.
From the opening piece, the questions bubbled out of Kit-kit: Why are they hanging? What’s that for? When I grow up, can I dance like that?? But without the kissing? Ew, mom. But oh, Mommy, did you SEE that??
She was fascinated, but boiling over with excitement in true Kit-kat fashion: When I grow up, and I can dance like that girl, and I can shake my butt, and that boy can SPANK my butt? Wow!!
Oh…dear! Yes, sweetheart, you…can. When you’re older…
C-boo, on the other hand, sat raptly through the first two pieces. She gasped when the doors slammed, eyes wide, taking in the movement. Then, without warning, she turned to me and whispered, Mommy, they are brilliant…can I do that too?
Be still, my heart.
I promised I would never push them toward my own dreams, but let them glide towards their own. These sweet bodies, always exploring movement, unguided and unforgiving.
Can I do that too?
Yes, my sweet. But you need to practice and always dance.
Then, the emotion. Mommy, why are you crying? Because, sweet child, dance is about feelings, and sometimes the feelings are too big for your brain or your heart. You need to show the world your feelings with your body, so you dance.
Oh. Mommy, can I show my feelings when I’m big.
You can show them right now.
And up, up she got. And she studied the screen, and she moved and contracted and exploded and jumped, and swirled and spun and lived on the carpet in front of me. Unaware of anything but the dancer(s) on screen and the movement calling her. Raw talent, flowing.
And Kit-kat spun too, whipping her blanket into a frenzy along to Janelle’s scarf. Mommy, this is the most beautiful thing ever!!
Both of them, unconfined by expectation, just wanting to dance.
The whole time, my breath caught in my throat. Afraid to exhale and blow it all away. Scared that something will break them and they will lose this wild abandon in their movement. That something or someone will cage them like I was caged, and that when they break free, it will be too late.
God, please. Let them keep breathing this moment all their lives.
Just, please. Let them always breathe the movement.
This post is a part of the Summer Blog Challenge! Join the rest of us