Two nights ago, my seven-year-old was seized with the sudden desire for a dance party. So we found some danceable music (the disco channel on Pandora), took off our socks, and boogied down.
When I say “we,” I mean my seven-year-old son, my five-year-old son, and me. Scott, apparently not in a dancing mood, sat on the sofa with his phone, which was on RECORD. “Join us!” I kept saying, but he was having a lot more fun watching and filming the other three members of his nuclear family dance their hearts out.
I should mention here that for my two very active little boys, “dance” is a relative term. Five-year-old Luke in particular has moves that can best be decribed as energetic gallumphing, with recklessly-swinging arms and wild spins on the floor and gravity-defying sideways leaps.
“That must be what they call breakdancing,” said my dad a few weeks ago, watching my youngest spin and spiral .
“Something‘s gonna get broken,” I said, eyeing the knicknacks.
Luckily, though, this week’s dance party passed with no injuries to either person or property. And though Earth, Wind, and Fire is not my music of choice, there is something so liberating about closing the blinds and clearing the floor and gettin’ down, unselfconsciously. I didn’t care how terrible my dancing was, and neither did my kids, who were just delighted to have me there with them.
So much of what we adults do is about image: creating it, maintaining it, controlling it, promoting it. Even if you’re not in an image-driven profession, somewhere along the line you become hyper-aware of how others see you. It was nice to turn that off for a time, to be exuberant and enthusiastic and simply not care (or almost not care: I did tell Scott that if he wants to stay married, no one outside the nuclear family can ever see the video). It was fun, and it was energizing, and it was great exercise.
Eventually we got Scott off the sofa too, joining us on our small living room dance floor. “We Are Family” blared in the background, a reminder of our wedding reception, another day when I simply didn’t care how awful my dancing was. For a few minutes the four of us moved and grooved and sang along, unselfconsciously and joyfully. We burned calories and built a very nice memory, one that I won’t need a video to remember.
When have you done something just for the joy of it? (And while we’re on the subject, what’s your dance music of choice?)