That’s my big, big sister Lilli in there in that tv box. She’s dancing, see? She takes dancing lessons with Miss Tiffany, who is a friend of Mama’s that she has known since she was very, very small– not too much bigger than me. Miss Tiffany has taught my big, big sister Lilli to be a graceful dancer. She looks a lot like the birds flying outside, so pretty and light, when she dances. When I get bigger, I want to dance, too, just like Lilli.
Until then, I love to watch her dance in the tv box and I can dance along. See? I am stomping too and bending and shaking. My legs are little, but they can do those things. I can be like a bird, or I can be like a strong bear with my dancing. I just listen to the music and I go with it, and my Mama says that is how dancing is… you just feel it and move.
I can watch Lilli and my cousin Bama dance whenever I want because my Granny has made videos of all of us growing up to be bigger and bigger people, and I sure am glad that she is making a record for all of us to see when we are big. Mama says that holding memories close and keeping them in videos, pictures, and even what is here in my writing will be treasured by us always and always. Memories, Mama tells me, are what makes us remember who we were and how much potential we have to become whatever we want to become.
Our family, she says, all of the people who love us, are what makes life rich and full of love. I don’t have to be told that, Mama, I know all about it. When I hug you or blow you a kiss, that is love, and all of those things are memories for you too.
For now, though, I will watch Lilli be a bird and I will be a bird. I will soar into the sky, into the tv, and become anything that I want to be. I am a tiny dancer.
This past weekend was a rainy and cold one and the sun hardly came out to play at all. When that happens, most of the time we all stay inside and we have to find lots of things to keep busy. I can most always find something to do and I just become a little baby hurricane, taking everything in my path and putting it somewhere else. My older brother and sisters, though, they can get what is called “stir crazy” and want to go somewhere else and just not know what to do with themselves. We can all run around the house chasing each other and our little doggie or jump up and down or all become little hurricanes, but Mama says that since there are four of us that then it gets to where we are “bouncing off the walls” and that you begin to not be able to walk anywhere without having something in your way. I can do this by myself, too, but with them helping me…. it is pretty amazing the beautiful mess that we can make.
My Daddy is always trying to come up with things for us to do, though, and he is really good at making fun when there wasn’t fun before. Mama says that he never completely grew up himself and that he remembers how to play more than some big people, and she says that this is the best way to be in life. She tells me that we all have a little bit of child in us forever, but she says that some people push it way, way down and that they don’t let it out much. She says her child is in her head and that it comes out in words and reading and in her dreams. Daddy, though, she said is really special because he doesn’t hide his child much and it is still right there, and so he can play with us in a different way than the people that have pushed their child deep down where they can’t get it anymore.
So Daddy put on music videos to have us listen in and sing and dance. Daddy and Mama both have me listen to music and watch music videos every day, and they pick a lot of different types of music– soothing slow music, fast and loud music, dance music, old music, new music– and they tell me that the more that I listen to and love, the more I will understand that music is beautiful in a lot of different ways and that it is art. I thought that art was painting like when I make pictures on paper, but they said that art is someone putting their heart into something so much that it is part of them, and they said that there are a lot of ways that can happen.
Because we were all going to dance this time, though, and to get all of our attention (which is really tough to do), he put on fun and fast things that he knew we would get into like Daft Punk and Taylor Swift. I really love the Taylor Swift “Shake it Off” song because it is so bouncy that I can’t help but dance. It was a good choice, too, because it brought all of us in together in the same room.
At first it was just me standing alone in the room looking at the video and bouncing.
Then everyone saw me there and heard the music, and magic happened. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gathered around me in a little circle and danced along with me, and I got to look around and see that they were doing what I was doing and that they were laughing with me and having fun. Stopping to have fun together doesn’t always happen, but when it does… that is real magic that you can feel in your belly. My big sister Addie threw all of herself into it, because that is what she does for everything, and my big, big sister Lilli danced a lot like the people in the video, because Mama and Daddy said that she takes dance and is “graceful,” which means that she can move like water. My giant brother Jonah even danced along, too, but he might not have if I hadn’t been there I don’t think because he is getting bigger. He had his little phone machine video taping me and trying to get me to laugh and dance while he danced along with me.
It was so much fun that when it was over I was still bouncing up and down to the music that was still in my head (music can get stuck in there sometimes like glue).
Mama tells me that music brings others together and that her and Daddy will show me more and more how powerful it really is as I get bigger. I believe her, and I think that it just might be one of the most powerful things on Earth. After all, my brother and sisters and me are all so, so different in what we love, what we do, and who we are… but we can all feel the joy that music and dancing on a rainy day can be.