I hope you dance

Yesterday morning, Grace and I drove Whit to camp.  This week is lacrosse camp for him, and she is home because she heads to sleepaway camp on Thursday morning.  En route, “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack came on the radio.  I turned it up.  “Listen to this, guys!  No, really.  Listen.  This is the best summary I know of what I want for you both, as your mother.”

I glanced back in the rear view and saw that they were both listening.  Each was turned, looking out of the window on their side of the car.  Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, sang Lee Ann.

“Well, we do that, Mummy.”  Grace chimed in.

“We do?” I smiled.

“Yeah, we look at the sky all the time!”  Whit added.  We fell silent again, listening.

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean came out of the radio.  “I know what that feels like!” Whit laughed.  “When I swim out to the raft, or when we jump off the boat into the ocean, I feel tiny!  Sometimes it’s sort of scary!”  Grace nodded with a faint smile on her face.

When the song came to an end, I turned the radio off.  “What do you guys think that means, I hope you dance?”

“I think maybe it means doing big things, having experiences.  Right?” Grace said.

“Also, taking risks?” Whit offered.

“Yes.  I think it means living life, you know?  Jumping in.”

“Like we do off the boat, or we did at Walden that day?” Whit asked.  I remembered the two of them hurtling headlong into the clear, still water of Walden Pond early in the morning, remembered the peals of their laughter in the morning stillness.

“Yes.  Exactly.”  I blinked back tears.  “And you know, the other line I really, really love in that song is I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”  The brake lights in front of me blurred.  I peered in the rear view mirror again.  They were both staring out their windows.  I started to say something and then I stopped myself.  I focused on the lights in front of me and I drove.  Grace and Whit were quiet in the back.

After a couple of minutes of silence, I finally said, “I really do hope that, you know.  Probably most of all.  Never lose your sense of wonder.  There’s magic everywhere, and I hope you can always see it.”


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19 Comments

  1. Posted July 24, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    I love that line too and the entire song!

  2. Posted July 24, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I often have to turn that song off if I’m in the car… I get too teary! Good for you to embrace the moment!

  3. Posted July 24, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    It seems, Lindsey, if there is one thing you have done as a mother, it’s this. You have instilled and fostered that sense of wonder in your children and through your writing, in us. What a gift.

    Thank you.

    XOXO

  4. Hilary Levey Friedman
    Posted July 24, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    And now this song will be stuck in my head all day, along with hopes and wishes for children! 🙂

  5. Posted July 24, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post. I hope we can all remember to dance and keep that sense of wonder. That’s one of the greatest gifts our children give us, and I love that you’re working to make sure they keep that gift for themselves too.

  6. Posted July 24, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Despite my being a closeted country music fan, Alisha despises the stuff. This is the one country song she loves, and she wants it to be the song that plays when she dances at Jason’s wedding someday.

    It is a great song.

    P.S. A bit of trivia for all you parents out there–Lee Ann Womack also sings the Berenstain Bears theme song.

    P.P.S. http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com/2007/02/country-music-and-pursuit-of-happiness.html

  7. Posted July 24, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Beautiful, Lindsey. As I was reading it occurred to me that kids don’t even have to know what “wonder” is…they simply and effortlessly embody it. And what better wish than for them to stay in that place for as long as possible?

  8. Posted July 24, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I love this post and this song, so much. (It was the basis for my salutatorian speech at my high school graduation.)

    I think you’re instilling that sense of wonder into your kids every day.

  9. Posted July 24, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Oh I love this….I felt like I was there watching and hearing the conversation unfold. Beautiful.

  10. Posted July 24, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Beautiful, Lindsey! I love how they listened…and contributed.

  11. Posted July 24, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Everything you write this summer brings tears to my eyes! This, perhaps, most of all. Wish I still had such moments with my own boys; instead, I live them through you. xo

  12. Posted July 24, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I think this is my favorite post so far. I have conversations like this with my 5yo daughter. I look forward to what comes when she’s Grace and Whit’s ages. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Posted July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I came accross your blog by chance today and have enjoyed several posts. Looking forward to reading more!

    🙂

  14. Posted July 24, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Oh yes, yes, yes. How wise their souls, how wise their mother. xo

  15. Robert
    Posted July 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Linsdey, your children a extremely lucky to have such an inspiring mother to allow them to have such open and mature minds.

  16. Posted July 25, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    i dont know that song… thanks for the introduction.

    those words are wonderful reminders.

  17. Nicci
    Posted July 25, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Love everything about this – and the writing is so descriptive I could just see their little wheels turning. 🙂

  18. Posted July 25, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    What a joy to have you as their mother.

  19. Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I’m behind on my reading so I’m just getting to this today and I’m glad I did. I think one of those miracles you speak about is what happens in the process of writing; in particular, about your children in these moments. This digital page is a keepsake to your life and your children. That three minute moment in the care is now condensed, consolidated, made more potent and then carefully wrapped up into memory like a precious stone; a touch stone maybe?