It’s erev shabbat, and I have a new haircut of cropped curls, pseudo-bread in my oven, and an auntie-bred CD whirling in my DVD player. When “On The Day You Were Born” came on, I scooped up the babes and we danced. Foxtrot, modified charleston, spin, spin, dip! He laughed one of those squeaky, croaking baby laughs that takes over their whole body.
It was infectious. I felt joy welling up inside me as we dipped and spun, filling me until I was overwhelmed and wanted, inexplicably, to cry.
‘On the day that our baby was born,’ I sang. ‘On the day our baby was born, the angels sang and blew their horn – and they danced, o they danced.’ Clinging to me and giggling, the babes offered me a smile. I grinned back, and somewhere in that smile I stopped worrying about the eczema that’s flared up again, the race against the clock to shabbat, the dosage for the eldest’s clotting factor, the budget…and we danced together. Steps I knew, steps I made up, things that just made the babes squeal. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the flutter of offended feathers. We’d scared the birds at the birdfeeder who were willing to put up with the neighbor’s cat on our deck, but did not at all like the whirling, bouncing people behind the window. Suck it up birdies, because this is a moment I’m going to hold on to.
Shabbat shalom, and may your weekend be filled with transcendent, unexpected joy.
Next week: long neglected posts on the philanthropy of lemons, nine months and ten years.