I sing. When I am alone. Normally, in my car. If the kids are with me – they get pretty irritated and downright bitchy when I am belting out my renditions of my favorite songs. So, I sing alone – because its fun, right?
When I was younger, my friends and I would go out bar-hopping and dance the night away. So much so that my thighs would ache the enxt day, as if I just ran a marathon.
I cannot say that the dancing was good – but it was dancing nonetheless.
Now I am an ahem adult. A mom. I don’t dance anymore. And I sing alone.
Yesterday, I watched my 5-year-old daughter playing in the yard, bare feet being tickled by freshly cut grass, singing and dancing her heart out.
I am sure she was pretending to be a ballerina, and I also think that in her mind – she sounded like Adele. She sang loud. And proud. And she danced with grace.
But mostly what I noticed as I watched her from my perch, was the freedom with which she sung and danced. She didn’t care if anyone was looking or listening. She was comfortably secure in her own world and her small body was expressing itself to match her mood. She was FREE. Free like the bird flying high overhead, free like a dolphin exploring the deepest part of the ocean. F.R.E.E.
One of the beautiful things about children, is that they always act out their moods and emotions. When they are happy – THEY ARE HAPPY. They laugh too loud, sing too proud, dance with their bodies and minds in ways that adults can’t do without the influence of alcohol.
One of my teen daughters does this same thing. She will take off on the golf cart out into the pasture with her Iphone and headphones and sing as if she is trying to push her tunes high up to the Heavens. I can sit on the porch and hear the echoes of her freedom ringing in the air. In those moments, she TOO, is experiencing, what I can only describe as FREEDOM. Beautiful, flawless freedom.
Yesterday, I was sitting outside my kid’s school waiting for the bell to ring when the music teacher brought her 4th graders outside to learn a new song in the fresh fall air. The class paired up, and most of the kids were singing their hearts out. I cannot even remember the song – but I can remember watching the freedom, the safety, the comfort these 9 year olds felt with their own voice. Their confidence that has not yet been stolen.
It. Was. Beautiful.
And while this was going on, my 5-year-old – completely unaware that there was 30 4th graders in near proximity was chatting to herself and dancing.
And then, there was me. Sitting on the bench, worried that I had a booger hanging out of my nose – and concerned that all ‘these people’ (who I could really give two shits about) were seeing me in my ‘not so nice’ sweatpants and hoodie, without make-up. (The Horror RIGHT!)
The song in my head was one that was the polar opposite of freedom. The dance of my body was closed, and SAFE. And guarded.
There comes an age when singing and dancing become lost arts. There comes a time in life when we become self-conscious, and embarrassed, and insecure. There comes a time when we silence our songs, and disturb the natural rhythm of our bodies to dance and move to the tune of how we feel.
Rather than simply react, live in the moment, give in to how we feel – we navigate, control and try to remain politically correct. After all, if I stood outside the school dancing and twirling around, singing Cold Hearted, at the top of my lungs, there’s a good chance that the people with straight jackets might show up to take me away.
Slowly but surely, I am seeing less cartwheels and curious spins and singing and FREEDOM from my children as they grow up. Even though I have always tried to encourage their freedom and confidence, the world is slowly but surely chipping away at their freedom. And seriously, how sad is that?
One of these days, I am going to reclaim my freedom and record myself singing and dancing and then post it to You-Tube. (Don’t hold your breath!) And I wont worry about how much ya’ll will laugh at me, but will instead try to catch just a moment of real, true and honest freedom.
When is the last time you truly felt FREEDOM?