Thursday, December 1, 2011

On Love as a Pre-Bedtime Dance Party

My head and heart have been heavy lately, but instead of dumping all of that on the four of you, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit and give you a little glimpse into my life.

My son Ethan  is 2 and loves to dance.  I mean, this kid LOVES to dance.  Here he is getting down to Jonsi's "Go Do" the other night.

What he loves even more is when I dance with him.  The shrieks of joy, the smiles, the spontaneous hugs and kisses, and the constant stream of "Peez daddy mo dance potty" are certainly evidence of that.

In all honesty, I am a terrible dancer.  When I try to dance, I look like a deranged android whose body parts are at war with one another.  It's like a grotesque mixture of a baby horse taking its first steps, a dog chasing its tail, and that video of the bear falling out of the tree onto the trampoline.  If you watched me dance, you would probably blush and cover your eyes with empathetic embarassment...and I wouldn't blame you.  It's embarassing.

Now with Ethan, dance parties are not a casual affair.  Normally he has his father's attention span which is about as long as...hey what's that shiny thing over there?  You get the idea. Anyway, his lack of an attention span notwithstanding, dance parties are one thing that he will devote an uncharacteristically high amount of attention to, perhaps because he knows the longer we dance the longer he can delay bedtime, but in any case, we're talking a minimum of four or five songs (or more). 

That can make for some marathon dance parties.

But here's some honesty, maybe sometimes daddy doesn't feel like having a dance party.  Maybe he had a long day at work, is still trying to get over a cold, and his achy muscles are protesting every awkward move.  But guess what? 

For me, love isn't about throwing myself a pity party, it's about throwing this dude a dance party.

I love this little boy.  I love him in a way that is different from any kind of love that I have ever experienced in my life.  [I tell my wife that I love him so much it makes me want to break something.  She says that's weird.  I tend to agree.]  I tell him I love him every day, and I try to show him in the best way I know how, and sometimes, the very best way is to dance like an idiot because he just needs to know that his dad is enjoying something as much as he is.  And wouldn't you know it?  Once I get into my bumbling, disjointed, and altogether hopelessly graceless groove, I think I end up enjoying it more than he does.

My hope is simple, maybe even a bit naive, that maybe someday he'll read stuff like this and be happy that his dad was the kind of dad that didn't care that he was tired or grumpy or looked like a complete moron, and just danced until bedtime anyway.

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