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The Joys of Car Dancing

I love to dance. I mean, like, I really love to dance.

The photos posted in this article? They’re really me – no stock photos here. Obviously, as I just gave birth seven weeks ago, these photos weren’t taken yesterday, but they’re not that old either. I’ve loved to dance for as long as I can remember.

Sarah DancingMy first true memory of dancing is from when I was three.

Yes, three.

I had the 45 of Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration”. And if you don’t know what a 45 is, keep it to yourself and go have a lollipop.

Anyway, I would dance in my ruffled slip in my living room for hours on end – usually until my mom would hide the 45 from me because she couldn’t take it any more.

I realized today that because I no longer go out dancing, I’ve become a car dancer. As I pulled out of my son’s school parking lot, I turned up the radio to an almost painful level and went to town to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Yep, that’s right. I’ve become the crazy lady who dances in her car.

Those five precious minutes in the car by myself every morning after I drop him off at school have become a real treat. I so look forward to being alone, blasting the music and dancing as much as I’m able to dance while sitting and driving.

The joy you see on my face in that picture is the same joy that’s on my face when I get to car dance. No one to ask me for milk, or crackers, or if I’ve fed the dog…no one needs me.

So for five minutes, I dance my sitting backside end off.

Granted, the woman you see in these photos here isn’t exactly the woman in the car today. Instead of contacts, there are glasses (it’s early people), and instead of wearing my hair down, it’s all tied back in a ponytail and it’s slightly gray too (so annoying).

But that woman in the red shirt is still here, I know it, she looks more like the woman in the black and white photo now, but she’s in there.

The presentation may have changed, but the soul inside is exactly the same. I don’t always let her out, but she’s in there. I feel like Monica on Friends when she’s arguing with Rachel about going on a date with the “cool guy” from high school (I believe his name was Chip…ha ha…how great is that?).

Anyway, as she’s begging Rachel to let her make her own decisions so she can go on this date, she says something like, “Please! For the fat girl in me, let me go! I never let her eat!”

That’s how I feel about the dancing girl in me. I never let her dance any more.

She has to take a backseat (pun intended) to the new little lives, the household and the marriage that depend on me for so much. She must stay tucked away, and give way to the new mom version of me that has so much to do.

I get to have those precious moments in the car where I let her loose, and then as I pull into the driveway, I lower the music, straighten up, gather my things, and become the mom again.

I walk back to the house and start working. I nurse my new daughter, I answer e-mails and phone calls, I schedule appointments, clean the house and build my business. And the dancing girl has to sit down and wait for the next five minute stretch when I allow her to come out and play.

Wedding DancingAnd in the moments when I’m alone (um, never), I let her make an appearance. Because when I do, it makes me feel light, happy, free and young.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all those things still…I’ll do whatever it takes to make people laugh, to be the center of attention (notice that my shirt in the first picture is red – and that I am the only one in the crowd who managed to look directly at the camera in the black and white photo) and I still feel very young.

But not like that.

Not with the freedom to jump out of my pajamas at 11:00 at night because a girlfriend calls and says “get down here – we’re having a blast. Everyone is asking for you!”

I remember driving with my father many years ago, with Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” blasting. He would play it over and over again until we both had all the words memorized. He used to sing with a certain gusto the words, “Time leaves you with, nothing mister but, boring stories oooooof…GLORY DAYS!”

I remember he turned to me at one point and said, “Boy, if that ain’t the truth. It goes so quickly.”

And of course, I thought, “What in the world is he talking about?”

Sigh. Now it’s my turn to understand all too well what he was talking about. Eew. I’m old.

Except for me, the line in “Glory Days” that makes me shake my head is, “in the blink of a young girl’s eye, glory days…” I see that girl in the red shirt, and in the blink of her eye it was indeed.

But one day, I’ll get to let the dancing girl come out all the way. I’ll just make sure the kids are in bed first, I wouldn’t want to scare them or anything. And until then, it’s me, my car and whatever is on the radio.

Author: Sarah

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