Dance With Your Children


Dance: to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or quickly: to dance with joy.

We recently moved, and months later, I’m still unpacking and sorting boxes of memories. I pulled out some old cds today as I worked,  and as soon as I hit “play,” images of times gone by flooded my mind. My private listening party transported me to a time long-buried beneath the layers of chaos that now invade daily life.  Snippets of memories, and pulses of emotion rushed through my body as I listened to the soundtrack of my past.

When my children were young, we danced in the kitchen.  We danced. I would put the music on loud – disturb the neighbors, unapologetically boisterous,  feel it in your bones,  loud. All I had to do was put the stereo on,  crank up the volume, and wait. In moments, they would come.  My kids, their cousins, and their friends would appear in the kitchen as the glorious sounds reverberated through the house. And then we would dance…

Sometimes we would dance in a circle, accompanied by kids banging wooden spoons on the counter to keep beat. Often times, we would pair up, changing partners as the song progressed. We’d twirl and spin and bump. Laughter was almost always as loud as the music.

The dance party occasionally moved to my parents’ house, right up the street. Between my sisters and I,  we have fifteen children and for a while, there was always a new baby. It became tradition that “Auntie Shel” would dance with the newest member of the family. I would pick up the infant, cradle him or her in my arms, and sway as the others continued the raucous merry-making.  Most of the time my parents sat back and watched, but every once in a while, they would join us, once even showing the grandchildren how to “Twist.”

These days,  the children have embarked on their own journeys, and my parents are slowed by effects of age, but how fortunate are we to have the collective memories created by our own little commune.

Dance with your children whenever possible. Turn the music up and dance.

Image courtesy of sattva/


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