Well, there should be a comma in there to show that I don't mean the goldfish are dancing. Or something like that. I am referring to a first grader of mine who, with utter abandon, was dancing to a video with a mouthful of goldfish that he was trying to eat while singing Apples and Bananas by Raffi.
For a split second I just wished I could have been him. The pure expression of joy on his face, the complete surrender to the music, the total engagement with the sounds and the rhythms did nothing to distract him from what he also needed to accomplish, which was eating his snack. Others sat and passively watched the video and then watched the Dancer with a bit of confusion. "How do you do that?" they seemed to think, while they hurriedly tried to finish their snacks so that then they would be able to get up and dance. He was the Dancer, the Singer, the Eater, and the Participator all in complete flow.
Most of my days are spent Dancing Eating Goldfish. I am trying to be mom, be teacher, be employee, be wife, be daughter, be sister, be friend, not to mention be cook, be housekeeper, be decorator, be washer, be picker upper, be banker, be, be, be. Just like I thought about the Dancer, sometimes I think I might choke. Just spit this out and let me do one thing at a time. But it doesn't work that way. Life comes at you with all things at once. You can't put one thing down before another is flying at you. It's not juggling. That would be easy. No, it's Dancing Eating Goldfish. Try it. It's not easy. And I mean keep your feet moving, grab a few more goldfish, get those hands in the air, now sing along with the words. Then grab a few more goldfish. But the Dancer was having SO MUCH FUN!
So there is the secret. He was loving it. Utter Abandon. Don't worry about the untied shoelace, the pencil on the floor that you might trip over. Just dance and keep singing. And keep eating. Just don't choke.
How do we not choke?
I've been looking forward to today for several weeks now. I am home alone. No kids. No obligations, except that I should be reading but I'm writing. The kids have a half day. I have 4 hours to myself. It is a mini-retreat. I will not be Dancing Eating Goldfish today. At least not until 12:30. I am sitting in my family room trying to keep the fire lit. (Literally. I'm just really bad at lighting fires.) I have a pile of books to read. But this is my stuff. I have my tea, my oatmeal, my blanket and my Netflix if I get bored. I won't. It is peaceful. I just need these moments once in a while. Once every few weeks. Then I can go back to Dancing Eating Goldfish.