I love to dance. I have danced around the play room with the kids since they were born. I would put on music, and even with their monitors thrown over my shoulder, I would spin them around the room as the music of the moment wafted out of the small c.d. player I sat atop their bookshelf.
As a result, the kids all love to dance. We play everything from nursery rhymes to jazz to Sunday School songs to ’50s rock-n-roll. And off they go. Inventing their own moves and spinning in solo or dancing in a pack. Those are some of the happiest moments in our house.
No one loves to dance more than the little lady. The first thing she says when she climbs in the car is “music please.” Even in the car she dances. So I signed her up for dance class last Monday. Today was her first day. She has been beside herself about it. Every afternoon when I arrive home she asks, “dance class?” I tell her, “On Monday.” To which she replies, “lots of dance class?” And I get to say, “Every single Monday!”
She is the youngest in the class since it is a 3s and 4s class. But because she is potty-trained and was in an older gymnastics class this summer, they allowed her to begin early. This morning we pulled her hair back in “simple” dance class hair as instructed and put on her pink tights and pale lavender leotard.
As soon as we had her put together, she asked, “Mommy dance with me?” Well, how can you turn down a request like that? So I spun her around the room, resting on my hip, with our hands clasped and arms extended. I sang, “L__’s going to dance class, “L__’s going to dance class, “L__’s going to dance class,” and then during the grand finale of “la, la, la, la, la, la,” I dipped her. The baby clamored for a dance of his own, particularly since he is absolutely crestfallen that he can’t go to dance class. So we spun, hip to hip, hand in hand, “W___ loves to dance, W___ loves to dance, W___ loves to dance,” and his own grand finale dip to a cascade of “la, la, la, la, la, la.” And the eldest, not to be left out, scrambled off the sofa to demand his turn. I threw my big sweet boy up in the air and then settled him on my hip and we replayed the dancing duo and channeled Fred and Ginger with our, “S___ loves to dance, S___ loves to dance, S___ loves to dance,” and brought the house down with a “la, la, la, la, la, la” dancing dip.
We arrived at dance class and settled in the lobby with the other would be ballerinas. We were instructed to do a bathroom run and then put on their ballet shoes (this class is a ballet/tap combo). As soon as I had her little tiny pink tighted feet in these precious shoes the girls were already lined up and marching down the hall to class. She slid her backpack on her back and marched back with the other girls without so much as a backward glance. She was a big girl and proud to march with all the other independent minded women in the group. The only drama was extracting the baby from the line of marching women as his eyes welled with tears when informed that this was a girls only class and he could not participate.
I cried on my drive into work. They are getting so big. They have full vocabularies. They aren’t interested in holding our hands on a walk because “I can do it myself” or “I a big boy.” Bray begged them the other night not to grow up one more bit. It’s flying by. Dancing by.
I still remember that first dance. Holding a six pound baby tethered to an equally weighted six pound monitor as I spun around the bouncy seats littered on the floor. I don’t remember the song, but I remember the feeling. It felt the same way this morning spinning across the floor, darting around trampolines and ride on tractors, as I held them against my chest and kissed their beautiful cheeks and sang their names into their ears.