The sun wooed me to do it. Propped there in its usual evening seat, the marbled orange sherbet rays radiated into my heart flirting with me through the kitchen window. "Come on. You know you love to dance. And He's made the grass sweetly succulent for toe twirling especially tonight." The rain sprinkled down. Dainty drops plop-splattering on the porch. Water dollops kissed the pink geraniums. The purple wave petunias too. An easy wet. One just jubilant enough to entice the little girl in me.
"Mom, what are you doing?" the time keeper and safeguard of our home inquired. Eli is deliberate with his people. Their physical not to mention emotional whereabouts are of utmost important to his inner being. "I'm going out to dance." my lips responded. "But first, I need a good twirling dress."
I knew just the one. It was lodged between my standard issue black funeral dress with the empire waist and the cute plaid picnic looking number that's never worn quite nearly enough as its missing a button mid-breast line. The dress of a seamstress is rarely darned. I knew where to find it if my memory served me well. Effortlessly, my fingers moved through the rolodex of hangers. There.Yep, that's the one. The midnight blue gunnysack I paid just $2.99 for at a Chattanooga Goodwill. The one that requires little of me other than my presence. No underwired contraptions for hoisting to make 38 feel like 24. No sucking in and sitting just so for the angles to appear edited and magazine worthy. I clutched the gathers, the myriad of ripples, letting my fingers press-feel all the way down the sides until I reached the hem.
Eli watched on. I sensed the distance between us, and yet he was just a foot away. His eyes stared at me as I launched the dress off its hanger. "Mom, you're going out to dance in the rain and your changing into a dress to do it?" His words pursed with a concern as if his vocal cords were a pole fishing for common sense and solid reason in the sea of his mother.
"Yes, Eli. I am." By this time, socks and shirt were mid-air. I was delighted by the pull of the zipper and twisting my hands tying a backwards oversized bow behind my back. Eli watched on with a steadfastness. He turned at certain moments. His eyes away from me. Never discussed nor taught. My little boy is growing more into a man. I never once asked. There, in my womb, a sweet feeling inundated me. The tiny baby who once lived there has learned what it means to respect a lady.
Head turned still, he inquired, "Are you really going out there to dance?" With a whimsical laugh tucked somewhere inside, I responded, "You bet, boy." Fumbling with the finishing touches of my bow, I sashayed out of the closet space with a "Ta-Da" right before him. He giggled and hugged me eeking out a "Mom, you are so crazy." His embrace was lifting. It was my son falling into the place where he began. I sensed his resolve and his joy from the impromptu of me.
I hurried. I needed those tiny droplets. On my skin. Between my toes. I spun around once to do a twirl test there in the kitchen. Surrounded by dishes piled, candles curing, unopened mail and bills laid out to pay, my smile widened. Joy was in the twirl. Just before heading out the back door, I turned back to see my oldest in full pursuit of my passion. With me, he was fully present on this joy ride. I would imagine his participation was a fine mix of the need to chaperone my shenanigans as well as ride wildly in my moments of spontaneity he so quickly shies away from in his own world. Our Eli walks best on the road where every step is safe and pre-calculated. Smooth cobblestones all pressed together for a solid surface, he wouldn't dare pry one up just to see what was underneath. Yet, this evening, as the rain tinkered down, he was willing to watch his Mama pick up a stone or two.
I danced. Spinning until I felt the dizziness envelope me. I laughed. Freely from within. There, in my backyard, the music from the clouds made more of me. Maximizing the midnight blue gathers, I exercised joy. My oldest watched on laughing with me the entire time. The tiny rain prints into my skin were cleansing. Their tickle touched my bare muscles catapulting me into a place where Jesus held my hand during the twirls.
A run turned into a full-on sprint that ended in a leap. My feet were covered wet with precipitation and evidence of Earth. Grass blades and I became one.
The rain was petite, but its presence in me most profound. My Eli watched on. There safe under the covered back porch. He remained dry while he documented my dance. Every so often he would say, "Mom, try to leap again. I wanna see if I can get a shot that doesn't blur."He We succeeded. Healing for us happened. Together we found our worlds in sync and secure. He in his place. Me in mine. Leaping. Capturing. A mother & son.
The midnight blue gunnysack. The one that requires little of me other than my presence. The tiny droplets from heaven there on my skin. The twirls with Jesus. My son. My beautiful firstborn boy becoming more of himself and more into me. The joy of the dance and the freedom to find it. I bow with a heaping heart of gratitude for the grass blades beneath my feet. And for this exercise in faith.
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