Will They Dance?

When I was pregnant with my oldest, "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack was popular.  And, of course, I fell in love with it, like 1.3 bazillion other moms did.  I think, unless you have children, it's hard to really feel what that song means.

For me, as a mom-to-be, the lyrics not only had meaning, but I felt, really felt the weight of that meaning for the first time.

Every time I heard that song, I felt so happy.  So expectant.  So full of the insights and advice and lessons I wanted to pass along to my unborn child.  That song so eloquently expressed everything I wanted to say, everything I wanted to feel...but I lacked the words.

I heard that song today, taking my youngest to school.  Now, I never was a sap until I had children.  And even now, I'm not one to be too emotional over every little thing.  There are so many things that other mothers save of their children that I simply toss.  An example (and this is timely, as Little Meems lost two this week):  teeth.  I had good intentions of keeping their first teeth until I actually held one in my hand and thought about it sitting for years in a baby book or treasure box until, one day when they were grownups, we found it.  It seemed...disturbing to me.  Who really wants to see a 20-30-40 year old tooth?  I quickly flushed it down the toilet.

But, I digress -- back to the song.  I started tearing up.  Remembering the hope and excitement and serenity and expectation I felt.  That quickly turned to sniffling, as the meaning of the words hit me again, this time from the perspective of a mother of children who are learning those lessons.  Children who struggle sometimes.  Children who are so innocent and fragile and in awe of so many things.  Children who accomplish.  And children who hurt sometimes.  And who have been knocked down.  Children, who, despite every parent's best attempts, are just trying to figure out where they belong in this big world.  And the realization that the search for that can have mixed results.

It wasn't very long before I was sobbing and gasping for air as my young son, alarmed in the back seat, asked me (of course) if I was crying.

Thank God for big sunglasses, because they allowed me to look at him in the rearview mirror and reassure him that I just had a cold.  They covered my tears, but also my lie.

I will always love that song.  And, I will probably cry even harder the next time I hear it.  It occurs to me that it would be an appropriate song for us to dance to at his wedding.  Someday.  At which point, I'll REALLY lose it.

To my children, if you're reading this one day...I hope you always dance.


Unknown said…

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