Henry has always loved music. He will ask us to turn it on all the time. He has danced for a long time too. Moving his little body to the beat as he listens. But lately his dancing has changed. It has become more pronounced. It has become something that he is choosing to do. "DANCE!" he will shout when he hears music. Freezing where he is and starts to move his body, head bobbing and arms flailing to no particular rhythm whats so ever. He bends his knees and moves his butt, the entire time smiling up a storm and while saying 'Henry DANCING!!". He asks us to dance with him and we always do, hidden away in our house where nobody can see.
The other evening we were sitting in the living room. I was reading, but on the TV in the background was some event in to honor Motown. A Jackson five song came on (Oh how I love the Jackson Five) and Henry runs over to tell me. As he runs, he sees his own reflection in the fire place glass. He freezes and says, "Ohhhh.... Two Henrys! TWO HENRYS DANCE!!" Then he stood in from of the fire place for the length of two Motown songs and danced with himself. I was so tickled with him. He loves music. He loves dancing.
The next day we were out grocery shopping. I pulled him out of the car and we both heard music blaring from a car near by. It was some sort of rock music, loud, but with a noticeable beat. Henry gasped with delight and whispered, "Music...." I dropped him in the cart as the music played on. His head started to bob and I noticed his arm go up in his classic "chicken wing dance move" fashion. "DANCE!" he shouted and started dancing in the cart. I smiled at him and said, "Yes, you are dancing!" He froze and said, "No.... Mama Dance?? Mama dance with Henry??"
I laughed it off. Thinking there was no way in hell I was dancing in the Kroger parking lot. But then he looked at me, and I could see him questioning why I wasn't dancing. I dance with him at home. "Mama, dance?" And I realized that one day he wouldn't dance in public either. He would be embarrassed to dance in front of strangers. But for right now, he was doing exactly what he wanted, which was to move his little body to the sound of the music. And he wanted his mama to dance with him. Something else that soon enough will be embarrassing to him too. Dancing in public, with his mother.
So I danced with him. There in the parking lot. To show him it was okay. To tell him he was perfect for wanting to dance. That it wasn't embarrassing at all.
As I walked into the store, pushing the cart as both our heads bobbed to the song fading away behind us, I saw an older woman look at us and smile, then look away. I had the distinct impression she had danced with her young children too. They grow up too fast to not dance with them whenever they ask.