Weekend Coffee Share: Dancing through birthdays & revelations
If we were having coffee, you’d find me all smiles as I sipped my sparkling water.
After listening intently to your recounting of what’s been up with and what’s ahead for you, I’d pause for a moment to consider where to begin. Is chronological best, or should I take some other route to explaining why I’m smiling so?
I’d land on my son’s birthday as a springboard into explaining everything.
Littler J turned two on Friday. (How’d that even happen? I’d say with a puzzled glance. I just brought him home!) I took off the afternoon from work to spend it with my boys and sister. We feasted at–or made a ginormous mess of, in Littler’s case–our birthday favorite restaurant before spending a few hours at Anaheim’s Adventure City, a pint-sized theme park for pint-sized little ones.
Littler had a blast, not that you could tell it from my favorite picture of the afternoon! The balloon ride was a little more thrilling than any of us realized while boarding it.
Amelia and I talked for hours after the boys fell asleep shortly after we returned home. My whole body breathed a sigh of relief getting to talk as we did. Opportunities to let loose have been few and far between the last couple of years, so that even knowing I need them, I forget just how much I need them.
I’d pause, gazing into space for a moment with a smile as I sank into the goodness of feeling that kind of connection. I’d tell you that I keep meaning to make time for friends, at least once a month, but that this much needed time gets lost in the Just Trying to Get By Shuffle. By pausing and feeling the glow of its goodness, I’d remind myself that the time put out yields much greater loving energy put back in.
I’d tell you that I was a wracked by anxiety yesterday morning. As an introvert who’s had scant little quiet recharge time and space the last couple of years, the thought alone of people, people, people–even those I love!–and noise made me want to hide under the table here and send my husband, Anthony, off to the party by himself. Much as I love my in-laws, we have very different ways, so the fact it was hosted at their house added another layer of just-hide-at-home anxiety.
I went, of course, and found a fantastic time. I saw friends I’ve hardly seen for ages, and, of course, saw my two favorite little boys having a blast with their own friends.
I’d break into a grin as I told you how Anthony and I did something we haven’t done for a couple of years: we walked away from the grandmas’ house by ourselves for the night.
Oh, man, I’d say with a slow shake of my head.
Since I started awakening at 3 a.m. for work, I’ve had to go to bed really early–pretty much right after the boys, meaning that I’ve had virtually no time recently to just sit and be with my husband during the evening.
Last night, we were supposed to go to an evening wedding. Neither traffic nor time were in our favor for this boat wedding, so we returned home … where we didn’t do much of anything, but didn’t do much of anything together. We kicked it in our quiet living room, with no need to redirect the older one back to his own bed seven times or comforting our tiny frequent awakener back to sleep at least as many times.
It. Was. Amazing.
I awakened not to an alarm clock or cries of “mama, mama,” but … rested, when my body told me it was time to rise.
I did some relaxing exercises in the darkness for a few minutes before beginning the last few songs of my mom’s memorial music playlist. I turned on the lights and sat down to write the grandmas a thank-you note. As I wrapped up the note, Enya’s “Dan y Dwr” began the playlist’s final march: the quiet, seeking pause before “To Go Beyond II” briefly opens the gates to heaven.
“To Go Beyond II” was my processional song. Hearing it in the quiet of just getting to be me released a flood of feelings: all my doubts, all my anxiety, all my love, all my memories. How else to express them but do something I haven’t done in at least two years? I danced. I moved through the sadness and the ache and the rise toward heaven, dancing all at once with my mom and in my wedding dress and in yesterday’s clothing.
I cried–from love, not pain–and hoped Anthony wouldn’t awaken to the sounds of my crying. I don’t mind sharing my tears with him, but for that one song, I wanted to let it all flow without witness or well meant worry.
When the song grew quiet to make way for the final song on the album, I smiled. I beamed … and committed to finding minutes here and there to dance through history and love by myself in the living room.
I’d rest my hand on my chin and smile before concluding, “So that’s where I’m at!” There’s always more that could be said and there’s certainly plenty going on, but sometimes it’s good to listen for the notes of life around you and know when they’re nudging you on to the next dance.