From the Archives: August 26, 2010
“…And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
~ Lee Ann Womack
She’s six years old and she’s got game. I’m watching with bated breath from across the pool. She’s climbing higher and higher – up she goes calculating each foot placement as if she’s rock-climbing Mt. Rainier. The lifeguard watches in amazement – she’s a tiny little thing – weighing all of 42 pounds soaking wet. He asks with a bit of trepidation, “Is she afraid of anything?” I’m shaking my head, “I don’t think so.” She reaches the top, smiles a proud smile and whoosh she lands in the pool. She’s out of the pool lickety split and back in line. She’s doing a happy dance with an invisible hula-hoop and singing “Aunt Cindy, did you see me? I did it. I did it! Look at me – I climbed to the top. Woohoo. I’m so great. I did it!”
My heart sang for my niece, Cady. I was all smiles. I thought, “Wow! Now that is confidence in its purest form.” How could I capture that confidence? There must be a way to protect that in her. Cady’s happy dance was an inspiration. She’s full of life. She knows what she wants and goes for it undaunted. She’s not afraid of looking silly or patting herself on the back in public. She did a good job and she was happy about it. She didn’t wait around to see what the rest of her world thought about her accomplishment. She just celebrated out in the open for all to see. How beautiful is that?
I think we all know when we’ve done a great job. I’d be willing to guess we all know the happy dance…unfortunately somewhere along the road we learned we shouldn’t celebrate out loud in front of everyone. What will people think? We might look conceited or full of our selves. Someone might not agree a celebration is in order. I’m guessing the happy dance we do is not on the dance floor of life – it’s done in the privacy of our heart or within the confines of our walk-in closet…or just maybe we misplaced our confidence or worse yet had it stolen through life experiences and the happy dance is no longer in our repertoire. This saddens me – all “grown up” and afraid to do the happy dance. I dare us to be six again. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to see our “fellow” girlfriends celebrating life and accomplishments out loud with a happy dance for all the world to see? I can envision it now. The happy dance becomes happenstance in the market, at the gym, and down the hallway at work. The next time we have an accomplishment, big or small, I dare us to change our “grown up” perspective and have the freedom and the confidence of a six year old to exuberantly do the happy dance and sing out loud, “Did you see me? I did it. I did it! Look at me – I climbed to the top. Woohoo. I’m so great. I did it!” Let’s get the word out – if Cady can do it unabashedly, why can’t we?
I hope you dance,
P.S. I missed you all! It was good to be with family and make some fun memories – like the one I just shared. I’m now in the throes of the last semester of my RN program, trying real hard to keep Cady’s perspective.