Friday, February 13, 2009

Flashback Friday: And They Danced

I was trying to think of something to write about today that would both fulfill the Flashback Friday theme and somehow tie in Valentine's Day. And I drew a blank... seriously, not one thing was coming to my mind. Being the single girl I am it's not like I have big plans to fill you in on, and it's not like I could flashback to the day I was swept off my feet since my feet are still planted firmly on the ground.

And then I remembered the second post I published on this blog, one that speaks to love more clearly than anything else I know. So here is a repost on this Valentine's Flashback Friday... hope you enjoy:

sara dad dancing
Me and Dad dancing at my sister's wedding, 2003 

The kitchen, as in most homes, has always been the gathering place for my family. Some credit it to the smells of food wafting through the air, beckoning anyone and everyone to come and fulfill the curiosity their stomachs have forced upon them.

Others say the kitchen is essential to a family because it’s where the most time is spent preparing to formally sit and enjoy one another. Why wait to sit at the dining room table when you can sit on the kitchen counter, sneak samples of the cuisine, talk until everyone is trying to be just a shade louder than the other, and be consistently on whichever counter mom needs to be clear at the moment? This inevitably forces her comment, “We do have other rooms in the house, you know!”

But, of course, we all know deep down the commotion would be missed and it is sometimes said with an edge of pride that her family has grown up and the grandchildren are now carrying on the tradition. While all these are compelling reasons to hold the kitchen as the room of high esteem, none come close to competing with my mind’s eye of my childhood in that old farm kitchen.

The hustle and chaos were ever present. My sisters and I would chide my brothers — who were never required to cook or do dishes — that if they stayed in the kitchen they would undoubtedly turn into girls. No matter what the commotion, regardless if the television was blaring or if the radio was silent, my dad would come up behind my mom — standing at the sink or stove or counter — and they danced.

They danced. Dad would hum a tune or click out a beat and they would dance as though six children weren’t running and talking and creating an atmosphere of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday.

They were experts in tuning out the world, until I came around. Until dad felt that tug on his leg. Until mom gave dad the knowing grin and I was scooped up between them. Dad would have just showered and the smell of his aftershave would wash over our small little circle of three. Mom would wink at me and we would begin the dance, the twirls, the spins. We would begin what I felt, but was too small to articulate, was my own world.

The dance would eventually end. The potatoes would boil on the stove or the phone would ring, and the universe would put my other little world on pause. But it was never on pause in my mind. Even today, when life seems overwhelming or uncertain, and that sense of security feels just beyond my reach, I can close my eyes and smell the smells of my youth. I see that old kitchen and my young parents, and I rest comfortably in the knowledge that at home in the new kitchen, my older parents are still dancing.

So if you ever wonder how to give your child security, how to teach them the presence of love, how to show them to live in the here and now — show them you love each other. Show your child you will forever love them by forever loving one another. Turn to your partner in the midst of chaos, in the midst of fear, in the midst of uncertainty, in the midst of love — and dance.


  1. Sara,
    My children are the most precious part of this life to me. Sometimes life gets crazy and I forget to "dance" with my husband. He is a wonderful man. And you are spot on. Our children need to know they can always count on us to take care of each other and them. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Oh Sara,

    You are so right.

    You have talked about being ready for whatever God has planned for you, well, I can't help but wonder If this is it. You have such insight into the reality of life which, I think, is love.

    Thanks for teaching us.


  3. This is so emotional for me Sara. The tears started when I saw the beautiful picture of you and your dad. Then the word picture of you and the 5 others in the kitchen...the life, the love, the impact on each and every one of you...days and days go by without my considering how much every moment matters.
    One more take me with you and remind me, what I do matters. Love to you today Sweetie and prayers for a pain free lighthearted weekend~

  4. beautifully written, sara! love this post.

  5. Sara,

    This will rank as one of my all time favorites! So eloquent really. What a beautiful picture of you with your dad. I can envision the whole thing in my head too :) Mostly I love how much of your beautiful heart is here!

    When the boys were young, Rick would scoop both of them up in his big strong arms, crank the music, and two step around the room. What I wouldn't do to have pictures or video of that... but I too carry it in my head and heart. Thank you for helping me remember.

    Love you girl!

  6. You are so exactly right about parents needing to let their children know they love one another.

    I grew up in 3 families. But I've always lived with my parents. How is that possible you ask. Well when I was very young I remember my sister and I jumping on my parents bed on a saturday morning. We would all tickle Mom, who was so ticklish she would laugh until she couldn't breathe, then we'd have to quit.

    Later in life my parents barely spoke to each other. My memories of that time are of trying to keep busy and out of the way cause no one was happy and idle children just upset people, either mom or dad.
    Then finally after dad moved out and back in the house was relaxed and happy again. By then I was in high school and busy with my own life but home was no longer a tense place and we could all feel the love between my parents that just naturally flowed around the home to make it a wonderful place to be.
    Love between parents makes the home a much nicer place.

  7. Thanks, sweet Sara. My parents never danced, but I make sure my kids see us do it; like yours, we include them in the moment sometimes. Others, well, that's just for us to slow step in and them to watch. It's funny that you made this your Valentine post, as it was my Christmas favorite moment of 2008 was in a slow circle with my love, as my girls laughed from the next room. Thanks for reminding all of us to cherish. Not just love, but grasp tightly and transport. Cherish. We all cherish you, your insights, and the ability you give us to reflect on our moments that make our days.

  8. My 6 yr. old rolls her eyes every time she comes into the kitchen (or other rooms lol) to see her father and I dancing...but I know deep down she loves it, and it is affecting her more than we will ever know. One of our main goals is to show our kids how much we love each other...I'm so glad you remember it, I pray they will too some day.
    Great post, as usual.
    Happy Valentines to you and Riley!!

  9. Such a sweet post!
    Happy Valentines Day!

  10. Beautiful! My parents had that kind of love and with 6 children too!

  11. this should be mandatory reading for ALL parents!

    so beautiful gitz!

    now. im off to get brent dance lessons


  12. I love that your friend and her class were so thoughtful as to share their love and joy with you. And... Hope you will not mind a reminder... There is nothing so sweet or wonderful as being romanced by Jesus, The Lover Of Our Souls, who has love, hope, and peace to give to overflowing. May His Romancing continue to draw your heart into His. :-)

  13. Oh gosh this is so beautiful. My husband is a ball-room dancer (not professionally - but he does teach sometimes!)... Anyway, about once a month he'll grab me - usually in the kitchen - and dance. Makes me smile every time.

    Recent blog post: If Jerry Calls, Don’t Answer

  14. Oh, that seriously makes me so happy... the thought of you dancing in the kitchen. Don't ever let him stop doing that... :)

  15. so, so beautiful.

    oh how i want to be THAT couple...

    Recent blog post: everything’s right

  16. You can be. Start dancing when you get back to Africa. It's one step at a time.

    Recent blog post: Flashback Friday: It’s a Yahweh Chewyday