This weekend was the Marine Corps Ball (happy 234th). It was tons of fun. But something was missing--dancing...MY dancing. Lots of people were dancing, drunk dancing. That means that even if I would have found the guts to really get out there, people probably would not have remembered--and it's not like any of them would be a finalist in the next season of So You Think You Can Dance. (Is that show still on?)
I used to dance. When we went out and there was music, I was dancing. I was never "good" but I had fun and was uninhibited (probably by alcohol) and had a great time. Those days seem to be over. I still hear songs on the radio that I used to dance to back in the day and it makes me want to get out and dance--just let loose and have fun and not care about anything except the pursuit of having fun. But on those few occasions where I DO get the chance, I chicken out. BOO!
So I have been thinking about this the past few days. Why does it matter? What has happened in my life to turn from someone who would just get out there and "cut the rug" to standing on the sidelines remembering the good ol' days? I don't know--I still haven't figured it out.
But then, today, something clicked. K was dancing and singing to a variety of music (from DMB to Miley Cyrus)--I mean she was SINGING at the top of her lungs (getting most of the words right) and DANCING her little heart out. It was beautiful. I watched her and smiled. Then, I joined her. We have dance parties on a regular basis, but we do it in the comfort of our own home away from windows or with the blinds closed. It is SO much fun. (THESE are the moments I cherish...living life with my daughter and getting caught up in the moment. It is amazing.)
But watching her dance in the context of my weekend got me to thinking... She was dancing like no one was watching. But, the thing is, someone was watching and she didn't care. For a few minutes, I just sat there in awe wondering how we get from that place in our lives to the place where I am. How do we get from truly being able to just enjoy the moment in the moment with pure joy to being scared to do the Electric Slide in front of a bunch of drunk Marines? I don't know and I still haven't found an answer for that, either.
But here's what I do know... I want to bottle up whatever is inside of my daughter right now and keep it. I want to take some for myself, but mostly I want to have a reserve to make sure that she keeps that spirit--that uninhibited love of life in the moment. I hope that she never cares who is watching (or listening) as long as she is doing what she believes in her heart is the right thing. I hope I have the knowledge, strength, and health to raise her to believe in herself first and foremost, so she knows it doesn't matter who is watching. We can learn a lot from a child and I think it may be the adults who screw up this sense of spirit with our own insecurities. But I know she has it now and I am going to take her cue. Watch out for the next Marine Corps Ball, there's going to be a 30 year old Captain's wife on the dance floor and it may not be artistically amazing, but it doesn't matter if I feel it in my heart. :) Here's to dancing like nobody's watching in all spheres of life--even when they are!