Saturday, January 30, 2010

A time to dance

I was feeling sluggish and missing our daily walk, but it was frigid here today, far to cold and windy to go out. So I cranked the music, a little Rani Arbo, a little Squirrel Nut Zippers, and we danced. I danced for Kathleen and she watched and laughed, and then I scooped her up and zipped her all over the room. Brian heard the Squirrel Nuts and came down and danced with us for a song too.

Joy and laughter and delight
twirling around with Kathleen in my arms.

Mid-twirl, the memory caught me for a moment, made me miss a step.
The memory of
twirling slowly
with Henry in my arms.
Twirling to show that I can,
that there is nothing attached to him
no lines to trip on or step over.

All that in an instant. I pushed it away, wanting to stay in the vortex of pure joy of dancing with my giggly, grinning girl. So fun, so silly, so alive.

But tonight that image came back to me, the image of me with Henry, not in our living room, but in a hospital room eight floors up, overlooking busy city streets, sun streaming in the windows. There was no music, unless my excitement was audible.

Tonight the memory of twirling with my boy made me smile. It was the first time I was able to dance with him, the first time we were untethered, free to move, to go, to twirl.

Another day, I might lament that we will never dance together again, never twirl until we fall down dizzy and laughing, but not tonight.

Tonight it is simply enough that we got to dance.


  1. I remember that first time without all the gismos and wires too. Precious.

    I remember holding my sister's baby several months later after Jordan died. I was sitting out on the verandah with him and wistfully looking out at the garden wishing I could go for a walk with him and show him the flowers. It was several minutes before I realised I actually could... that is how used to not moving around with Jordan I was. Sad isn't it?

    I'm glad you got to dance with Henry. Special memory indeed.

  2. Sophie, your story reminds me of a time Henry was getting really upset and I stood there with one hand on his head, the other patting his belly. Ten minutes later, I realized I could pick him up. It had been so long since I was able to do that it didn't even occur to me, the most natural, obvious thing to do when a baby cries and I didn't even think of it.

  3. 'Twirling to show that I can,
    that there is nothing attached to him'

    When I first moved J without anything attached, I rushed outside with her into the back garden. The concentrator tubes didn't stretch that far so we couldn't go back there unless she was on a portable. She didn't really see the back garden until she was eight months old. It was so exciting and so strange. I suppose, as Sophie said, I'd got so used to being attached to other things that it felt peculiarly light, to be 'just us.' Your description of dancing with Henry brought it all back.

    I'm so glad you danced with your son. Strange isn't it, how sometimes it seems enough and yet, at other times, far too little. xo

  4. So sweet, the image of you dancing with each of your babies. I'm glad it was a good memory of Henry.