Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Those awkward years

The scene in our kitchen just now is a typical one. The three of us are sat at the kitchen table eating dinner as our go-to Jackson Browne playlist plays on Pandora.

Fleetwood Mac's Secondhand News interrupts our hodgepodge meal of sausage and peppers, peaches, and crackers and cheese, and sends Dylan into a hysterical hand waving frenzy. Anything with a beat and that boy turns into Disco Fever. He claps and smiles and raises his fork in the air. I sing along and clap my hands together high over my head to see if he'll follow suit. He does. I flashback to my freshman year in high school and find myself on stage with my sister and her then girlfriend, the three of us dressed as Stevie Nicks singing Dreams at a talent show. It was around this time that my sister, her girlfriend, and I became obsessed with folk music and clove cigarettes and would often be found sitting in the grass at rehearsals making flower hairbands and singing Dar Williams in our bare feet. I can recall those days so vividly each time a Fleetwood Mac song comes on the radio.

The Eagles play next, I can't remember which song now, and Sean and I start slow dancing in the kitchen as Dylan smiles at us from his highchair. We start off holding each other close, happy to be back together after his day at work. We watch Dylan watch us. I want to remember these days forever. And then Sean says we should dance as if we are back in middle school. Our bodies separate as far as physically able while still touching each other; my hands on his neck, his hands placed 1950s-style on my hips. He says, "Well actually, in middle school I danced more like this:" as he grabs me close and puts his head directly on my shoulder in the most awkward stance which would've told eleven year old me that he might be slipping me a note later asking me if I'd like to go roller skating sometime. I picture six grade Sean, decked out in dress pants and maybe a tie. His mom would've dressed him and pinned a flower on his lapel. He tells me he stopped going to Saturday night dances after eighth grade, but he did make it to his proms. I tell him I danced with a boy to Boys II Men's On Bended Knee back in sixth grade and how I had such a crush on the boy that I taped the song off of the radio and played it nonstop for at least a week. Sean laughs and apologizes for my taste in music back in 1994. I never did get asked out by that boy, but I did find him a few years ago and discovered that he is a rapper-type and a Yankees fan and although my heart didn't know it back then, we were fated to not go roller skating together.

Dylan will go to school dances in ten years and he will look to us for instruction. We will buy him new shoes and a tie and drop him off as far away from the front door as possible so that he will not have to be seen with his parents. I will flashback to tonight in the kitchen and tell Sean that I hope Dylan brings his 1950s-style hands to the dance floor.