Yesterday while driving back from a meeting, I heard Phillip Phillip’s song “Home” on the radio. I car-danced like crazy to that song at a stop light and couldn’t wait to get home and share it with my kids. From the moment he first auditioned for American Idol last year, I was cheering for him. That boy has music flowing through every fiber of his being. He cannot help but move as he sings. And he moves everything, all at once, in not always aesthetically pleasing ways, but it is movement born within the very nature of music and it makes me smile to see him so overcome with joy and rhythm.
I may be a little out of touch, because I did not know that the rest of the world all heard this song played at the Olympics this year, until I was sharing a YouTube video of it with the boys at dinner.
It was Art & Music night at our house, so I decided to put on Pandora tuned to any music similar to Phillip Phillips. What happened next was spontaneous joy that could not be contained. Coldplay’s “Clocks” came on, and I love that song. I have no idea, have never had a clue what the singer is saying – in any of his songs – but I adore the beat, and the sweeping musicality. I jumped up and started dancing barefoot in the kitchen, with big, circling arm motions, spinning around and stomping and swirling. The boys followed my lead and we were crazy dancing through the whole song, wearing ourselves out with dance. It was truly a moment of giggling children, swept away mommy, delirious abandon, and breathless dance. As it should be. Is there any other way?
When that song was over, we collapsed back to our chairs. Then Plain White T’s “Rhythm of Love” came on, and we were still in the mood to dance, but already worn out. I started dancing in my chair, just tapping my feet and moving my upper body to the beat. Both boys pulled their chairs away from the table to sit opposite me and it was like a game of Simon Says or Follow the Leader where I did a crazy move, and they mimicked me. Their little eyes were all lit up and shining at me. They were having so much fun. It was only a few minutes, dancing to two songs at dinner, but we may have just started a tradition for nights when Scott is working late.
I forget sometimes how easy it is to spend time with my boys. I get it in my head that the activity has to be planned and calendared and something truly amazing in order for it to be quality time. Perhaps it’s the working mom in me that wants to have a big plan. And sometimes those over-thought-out activities aren’t really the memory makers that I’d hoped they would be. Sometimes, it’s the spontaneous barefoot dancing in the kitchen that is the thing that only took a couple of minutes, and brought laughter and a feeling of closeness that rocked my mommy-heart!
Right after this, Ben asked if we could all ride bikes together up and down the driveway. So we did. We rode two miles together, and Ben never left my side. I don’t ride fast. I ride my little beach cruiser rather carefully on the gravel out here. He would stall and then catch up so he could ride super fast, then skid to a stop and throw up clouds of dust. But most of the trip, he wanted to be right beside me talking and spending time with me. “I like spending time with you, Mom. I only get two full days with you a week, and a few hours at night. I just want to be with you.”
It’s true. And it could make me feel really sad, but it’s life. Childhood is the only time that play is our only concern. We grow up, we get responsibilities, we need to earn a living to provide for ourselves, and we learn to love our weekends and down-time and make the most of them.
We have been working really hard lately, and feeling pulled in lots of different directions. Last night was a treasure.
What have you done without any planning – that turned into a spontaneous moment of joy with your kids? I would love to hear.