Finding myself in the Middle East

Friday, November 5, 2010

Save the Last Dance for Me

The batter for cake was half mixed on the counter, the dishes half done in the sink. The kids were half dressed and the baby had a wet diaper. There was sand on the floor from your shoes which I forgot to empty yesterday at the park, and scraps of neon pink and yellow paper glued to the table.

But today, I did it. Today, I took time to dance.

I turned on the music to wake myself up as I packed your bags for gan and took out a fresh diaper for the baby. And then you asked me, with your shirt and tights on and your skirt still on the couch, to dance. I looked at the cake batter, at the dishes at the pink and yellow papers. I opened my mouth. The words in a minute were about to slide off my tongue, like snake oil. I looked at you. You were smiling, tentative. You knew it was a long shot.

And I closed my eyes on all of it except you, and we twirled around on the floor, spreading the sand around. You fell, I fell, we got up. We danced and danced and danced. Your laughter drowned out the lyrics.

We walked to gan a few minutes later, after you put on your skirt and I made your hair in a jaunty ponytail. The baby was in a fresh diaper, but I had left the apartment a mess, something that I never do.

I helped you across the street and blew a kiss. "Have a great day, Princess," I called. I turned to go, to take Coco-pop to her gan. Then there was lots to do before pickup, baby allowing of course.

"Wait, Ima. Cross me back." I turned back to you.

"But why--"

You ran back across by yourself, which you are not allowed to do. A warning rose to my lips, but then suddenly you wrapped your arms around my waist, which is a high as you can reach, and gave me a kiss. "I forgot to give you a kiss and a hug,Ima," you said. Your eyes were as bright as the little pink and yellow papers still stuck to the table.

I'm so glad we took the time to dance.


Proud Tante said...

so sweet! you are an awesome ima!

JerusalemStoned said...

aw, I'm not, but I do try.


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