D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

2.

tonight after dinner we had a small dance party. my children picked out all the music, and much to my chagrin they picked the songs their father has taught them to love, pop stars with love songs that set my teeth on edge. in the car usually i am nit-picking every lyric in my head, my heart the soul of puritan housewife, always finding something to disapprove of. but here in the living room my children take turns doing dances that i am supposed to imitate. they are silly, boisterous, joyful. my son is creative, making up wild dances that are always on beat. my daughter is more languid, in her own world, singing loudly off key. they both turn to me, faces expectant.

so i do imitate them, as best as i can, and together we are joined in a chorus of delight. their father teaches them joy and i am like the moon observing, always caught in their orbit, spinning spinning spinning until at the end we are falling down on the floor, breathless from laughing at songs that mean nothing, and yet everything, to me.

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