Dinner time arrived, and we made our way into the kitchen. A neatly stacked pile of music CDs from the library on the counter next to the stove caught my attention. Various crayons and pencils were scattered on the table, along with assorted scraps of cut up paper.
"Please clean off the table girls. I'll make you some cheese tacos." As Gracie gathered up her prized drawings and shuffled them into a pile, she tossed them all on top of our art center. Two or three of them fell onto the floor in a cascade as the teetering two month's worth of other artwork toppled under its own weight.
Grace muttered, "Oh geez! This is such a mess."
I replied, "Yes, it is. I think we'd better go through that this weekend, and clean it up."
I pressed the button on the television perched on our counter to turn it on, but news of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan crept into my thoughts. In response, I shut it off again.
"There's no use in listening to this, not with Timmy shipping out this summer," I grumbled. It had been an up and down day, and I was looking to continue to focus on the magic in life.
As I gathered the tortillas and shredded cheese, I thought of the CDs on the counter. Their dull plastic library cases called to me. "Hmmm. I wonder what Charlie picked out." I browsed through the cases, and settled on one. It made me think of my grandfathers. They both enjoyed The Glenn Miller Band. I scanned the inside cover, but only one song had a familiar name. I'm horrible at remembering names of songs.
"Hey Meghan! That's my spot! That's my spot!" Grace shouted.
"Uh, girls! That's my spot now. Please choose a different chair to sit in. What happens when you fight over something?"
Meghan replied, "You get it."
"That's right," I responded.
I returned my attention to the CD in my hand, and pressed the center release button on the case to release the CD. I placed my index finger into the center hole, and carried it to our kitchen CD player. Its silvery shimmer caught the light, and I dropped it into the player.
"Mommy! What's on that CD?"
"Music," I replied dryly but with a smirk. I thought to myself that my mom and dad would have laughed at that response. I remember them both being exasperated with me drilling them with a constant barrage of questions.
As I pressed play, the intro to String of Pearls flowed into the air. I smiled remembering my Grandpa Neil hum the tune. Music has a way of calling deep ceded memories into the forefront of my brain. Grace began to shake her shoulders left and right in beat to the music. Her head bounced along with her body, and her blond bob responded accordingly.
Meghan flopped down off her chair, and twirled in a circle in her sock feet.
"Hey Megs. Come dance with Mama! Come dance with me baby girl. Come!" A wide grin appeared across her face in response, and she skipped over to me. I grabbed her hands, and lifted her light frame up a bit as I placed her feet on top of my toes. We spun to the right, and then to the left. She giggled and showed off a toothy grin as we shook ourselves in beat with the band. Her right foot dug deeply into the top of my left foot, as her left foot slid off my right one. Her uneven core strength still affects her, but it is pretty well hidden to the untrained eye.
"Mama, spin me 'gain! Spin me 'gain!" she shrieked and giggled. Looking down upon her, I flashed back to her nearly lifeless body laying in the isolette, yet her miracle life emanating from within her tiny frame.
I wondered how many more moments like this would be in our future because she was growing up so quickly, but I soaked it all in as the love in my heart for her flashed.
Grace stood up and began to clumsily move herself to the music. I smirked knowing her sensory processing issues prevented her from naturally finding the beat with dance, but it didn't matter. She, too, found herself immersed in the moment, and felt the need to dance. Her miracle self shines from within as well.
I hope we all remember to dance more often. The dance of life is so worth it.