Yesterday, Lovebug, Macaroni and I went to a celebration of life party for a wonderful woman who passed on. At the party, there was a live DJ spinnin’ all types of music. As soon as we got settled in, Lovebug began her body shaking dance in my arms. She could hear the beat and threw her hands up.
After being momentarily distracted by food, she forced her way out of my arms and ran towards the thump of the bass coming from the next room. She instinctively started doing her different baby dance moves. She was feeling the music with every part of her being, shaking and twisting and smiling and clapping.
Another song came on — the infamous Gangnam Style. If you know the song then you know the dance. If not, you can catch the video here:
For a moment, Lovebug watched the other guests doing the dance moves before strutting out in all her 18-month old awesomeness into the middle of the circle. She began to dance. She squatted up and down on her chubby legs, and twisted left right. When the song paused, she paused and then threw her hands up in the air when the hook came on.
She was so happy. She was just living in that moment and it felt good.
And we all felt good watching her. Everyone clapped and cheered her on and despite the somewhat somber reason for the party, everyone was smiling and that moment was nothing short of perfection. She was a living embodiment of joy and it was contagious because even in sadness there is still joy.
Through her we all felt joy and a reminder that life is beautiful and funny, and there are moments that are so special that they are almost divine. She was dancing and she was joy, and I felt almost blessed in space and time and in awe of this little being sharing her light with the room.
I hope that never leaves her. She danced because she was feeling the moment and it made her happy and made her feel good. She wasn’t trying to impress anyone, or dance out of obligation or because it was a time when she was supposed to dance.
She danced because it felt good. And we felt good watching her feel good.
See, there’s a thing about babies and old folks which is that they always tell the truth. Though her dancing that’s just what she did. She said that life is good and dancing is good and it’s healthy to smile, laugh out loud and move your body. It’s what we’re put on this planet to do… to love, to be loved, to be happy, and to experience life.
It’s not about material goods, or fitting into some box, or working a nine to five that makes you miserable.
We were born to dance.
I know that one day she’ll learn all the ways that life can be harsh. I know that one day she’ll hurt, and have her heartbroken, and endure suffering of some sort. I know that every moment is not meant to, and maybe shouldn’t be, unrealistically perfect.
But, she was born to dance and I hope that she never forgets that. I hope she always keeps the ability to just live in moment.
To listen to music and to listen to her body. To be happy.
I’m not a Lee Ann Womack fan, but the lyrics of this song really sum up how watching my sweet baby girl dance made me feel about her future:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
But beyond just Lovebug, and even Macaroni and Brother, I hope that all of us remember to dance. I hope we still feel small when we stand beside the ocean, whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
I hope you dance.