The Start of Something Good

Houston Sunrise 2013.03.31Every so often you need a break.

This week will be one of those breaks as my son and his best friend and I travel to Houston, Texas for six days of fun.

We’ll see the Space Center (Thanks Katie).  We’ll experience the Aquarium.  We’ll be terrified by the traffic and thankful for green grass and flowers already blooming in March.

Most of all, my son and his friend will be thankful for their time with on-line friends seen face-to-face for the first time.  That’s really the reason we are here in the deep south.

My joy is found in getting to spend time with two great young men for six warm, sunny days.

We all need a break from time to time.  But the break doesn’t always require travel to distant places.  In fact, there are times when the break can be as simple as finding a respite during the hectic day, discovering a quiet evening during our busy week, experiencing time with dear friends that renews and rejuvenates our souls, rekindles our spirits, refreshes our souls.

What will you do this week to enjoy a break?  Will you attend a yoga class?  Will you enjoy a cup of tea in a quiet corner of your house?  Will you go for a short walk away from your desk?  Pet a dog?  Listen to a child laugh?  Marvel at a sunrise or sunset?

What will you do for a break?

 

Dance Fever

Jonathan was a great dancer but I suspect he was in it for the outfits.
Jonathan was a great dancer but I suspect he was in it for the outfits.

When our son was about five years old we signed him up for tap dance classes at the Cole Dance Academy.  He was really into Savion Glover who was big on Sesame Street and it was good for his coordination, or so we were told.  But somewhere along the line, the instructor lost sight of the kids and their program and roped in the dads.  They had this great idea: What if the boys and the dads dance together in the final show?

That idea sounded perfect to everyone but the dads.  They forgot that we didn’t sign up as a team.  This is for the kids.  They are the ones who needed the activity, help with their coordination and rhythm.  I grew up in the age of Disco.  I didn’t need help with my rhythm.  Besides, you weren’t going to strap a pair of tap shoes on this guy and shove him out onto the stage!

Unfortunately, we were over-ruled by the mothers.  The song, “Everything Old is New Again” was selected.  The instructor choreographed a cute little number that involved the dads and the boys dancing beside, behind and in front of one another.  And there was no getting out of it.

The only surviving picture of our dancing debut at Emens Auditorium, Ball State University. circa 1995

Please understand that I’ve been on stage many, many times.  I’ve spoken to crowds in the thousands without any problem.  But TAP DANCING?  Are you serious?  I was terrified.

So, in preparation for the big night, we practiced for hours and then practiced some more.  We bought special taps to nail into the bottoms of my shoes.  I rented the outfit and practiced some more.  And on the night of the performance, I straightened my bow tie, laced up my shoes and stood next to my son who was much more confident that I.

I gave Jonathan a reassuring smile and then the music started.  Together, we entered, swinging our arms and tapping our toes to the beat of the music.

And I don’t remember anything after that.  It all goes black.  I’m told that it was a great hit with the audience.  I really don’t know.  I just know that even typing with the tapping sound of the keys ringing in my ear, I’m experiencing a horrid nausea to the pit of my stomach.  The memory has caused me to become light-headed.  The thought of that night has caused my lips to go numb and my arms to ache.

My son dropped dance class shortly after this performance.  And I can’t say that I blame him.  But don’t worry…We worked on his rhythm using my 8-track tape of the Village People in the comfort and safety (and solitude) of our living room.  Now THAT’S music to dance to!