“Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad” – Proverb
Yes, as in crazy or “Cray. Cray,” as the kids call it.
We are all dancers on this earth. We reach ups and downs, we bend over backwards, we turn from one place to the next, lift our arms up, put our heads down, then twist and we turn. We jump. We run, run, run and stop with our arms flailing about… If that’s not a “dance” I don’t know what is.
Of all the “dance shoes” I’ve worn in this life, the mom pair has to be the most exhilarating, most challenging, most “drive you to a place you never knew existed, drive you mad, tug your heart, 24-hour lifetime channel movie, soap opera, overwhelming, and simply JOYful experience” I have ever had.
Whew. Let me breathe for a sec.
Children (and husbands) do have a way of putting the “OY!” in JOY (sigh). You know what. I wouldn’t change ANYTHING. Motherhood may drive you to your wits-end or bring you to your most vulnerable place but it’s an ADVENTURE and I personally happen to love adventures. Motherhood is where you can tap into your inner strength, your inner beauty and things you never knew you existed within you.
I have danced on many stages in my life with audiences of all sizes, but the audience members that mean the most to me, are those tiny little toddler hands that clap and say “yaaaay” or the double-digit, emotion-filled boy (wanting to be on stage next to you), or the handsome teen-sized eyes that look at you, smile and say “sup mom.” That’s MY audience. They may not always applaud feverously, toss roses my way, give 5 star reviews and yell BRAVO… but they are there with hearts full of love and possibility. They need me. They love me, all of me, flaws and all. There’s a popular proverb quote out there that says this…
“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.”
That is my “mantra.” I’m certainly not a psychologist, but I guarantee that even with the most well thought out plan… you will stumble at times. (For me, I stumble more often than not, but again… if you make it part of the dance… DANCE it out sister!) So let’s crank up the music…
Boom. Ba da doom. Ba da doom boom the room. Do you hear it? 🙂
ME: “Baby’s sleeping, try to keep the noise down.” Boys get louder. I calmly repeat “Baby’s sleeping, keep it down please.” Boys get louder. Me (at the top of my lungs) “I SAID. BE QUIET. BABY’S SLEEPING!!!!” (Look who’s shouting now!) Followed by baby cries (because I, yes me, I woke up the little one).
Ahhh, Chicka, Doom, Boom… Music’s still playing.
Toddler in the bath, older child in the shower. All is good. Husband runs to store for milk. Toddler says, “Wook, mama, wook!” (as he holds up an object). Hmmmm how did a “tootsie roll” get in there? WAIT! That’s not a tootsie roll! “Yucky!” I say, as I grab “object” and immediately remove toddler from “toxic area.” Older child is now done with shower and curious. Looks into tub, sees foreign object and proceeds to “toss his cookies.” Really? Really?!! Mom proceeds to put both kids in shower for a soap rinse, dry PJs on, and then cleans mess. Husband comes home, looks at me with my disheveled frizzy, hair and wet clothes and says…
“What the heck happened to YOU?!!!” 🙂
Whata, whata…whaaaaaa…Can you still hear it?
Fast forward to a morning commute to school. Baby is still sleeping. So is Daddy (It’s my turn to drive). Boys are knee deep in the morning routine. “Grab your backpacks! Turn off the lights. Pick up your clothes.” Normal stuff. We head out on our driveway (which snakes down a large hill through some woods by the way). Moments after accelerating, remembering there may have been “freezing rain” in the forecast. Duh. Is school even open? Car catches the frozen rain, veers right, then left, sideways, and completes a 360 at the bottom of driveway, barely missing a tree. My heart is beating. Fast. There’s a short moment of silence followed by loud, cheers from the passengers. “YEAAAAH. Wooohooo! Mom’s got SKILLZ.” Why yes. Yes I do.
And the beat goes on…
So get out there…MOM’s and dddddDANCE! Work the floor, show YOUR audience what you’ve got, hear your own music… and take a BOW baby… YOU deserve it.
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!
Are you a “DancinMoma?” No, not a trained dancer, but a parent on the move with a child (or two or three) in tow. If you are a “DancinMoma”, or know one who is, you should also know that there is a certain grace these individuals possess and masterful techniques they use to weave through a typical day.
Here are a few “DancinMoma Definitions” to ponder; have YOU experienced any of these?
The Pointless Pivot
Walking into a room with purpose.
Forgetting why you came there.
Pivoting the opposite way.
Remembering why you were heading there in the first place.
The Drop, Duck and Roll
The maneuver executed while walking through the living room covered only by a small, post-shower towel and hearing a loud knock on the front door from a delivery person!!
Maneuver is normally followed by a 30 second pause behind the couch, then a cautious peek.
The Trip Walk
Walking purposefully and alone to your destination, passing people and smiling confidently, then tripping, running three steps, and continuing as if you “meant” to do that.
The Tippy Toe Toy Hop
Inadvertently stepping on a Lego® creation or small toy.
Ow! Jumping! Hopping up and down holding your toe.
Extremely rare, uninterrupted time in your shower that feels like a frozen drink by a beach.
The Split Side
Stepping a flat, slippery object such as a magazine (Left by your spouse, no doubt). Then, while struggling to regain your balance, splaying the legs into an unconventional split you did not know you could still do.
Laser Spy Mission
Arriving from point A to point B in a playroom without hitting a toy.
The Baby Sway Stray
That side-to-side motion used to rock your baby that you do it even without your baby.
The Hip Dip
Closing doors or drawers with your hip while carrying a child in one arm, bags in the other, and cradling a phone in one ear. (Caution: only trained ‘DancinMomas’ should attempt this.)
Mac and Cheese Mambo
Stirring (and 1, 2) providing direction, repeating that direction (and 3, 4) without “boiling over.”
The Dip & Dunk:
Bending over to pick up item on floor and shoot a basket across room into the appropriate container or basket…. Score!
The Shuffle Shovel
Holding items in arms while maneuvering your foot to collect and slide things scattered on floor into a neat pile.
Cha Cha Chew Chew
The amount of time (1,2) allowed to eat your dinner — cha-cha chew chew chew — after everyone is taken care of.
That moment when you walk away from a conversation only to run into a door or side stage wall… Splat is what it is normally called. If your name is Pam, however, like me…. the “Splam.”
Five Minute Flail Fail
The 5-minute warning that evolves into 15 to 30, or more, as you motion to
your child with flailing arms that it’s “time to go!”
Please Define YOUR “DancinMoma” moments below and add to the list!