I was just a little girl when my mother reminded me she’d rather dance than eat. That was evidenced as she swirled around the room whenever Dancing Bear shuffled a few cuddly steps on tv’s Captain Kangaroo. And when she taught my brothers and me to waltz, the three of us taking tentative steps around the kitchen table as she led. She arrived on earth, after all, with dancing genes making up her DNA.
Her father played the concertina when I was just a little girl -- out by Grandma’s flowerbeds or indoors in their crooked house, the wallpaper stripes making up the only straight lines. After a time he would hand the concertina to my aunt to squeeze, and Grandpa would dance with each of us grandkids, one by one.
Grandpa said there wasn’t a dancing man alive my mom or my aunt couldn’t follow – at square dancing, polka circles or a two-step around Riverside Ballroom or Kings.
The last time my mom danced was at my wedding as my new groom danced a slow dance with her, shortly after he’d gotten down on one knee to ask her to become his mother-in -law. She was only 85 at the time and he has since joined her father at their new home.
I wonder: will he ask my mother for a dance today. Perhaps my father, brother, maybe Grandpa will be lined up behind him, a dollar dance for a new bride. I wonder: will it be a schottische or a waltz they step out to, the melodies drawing her to Heaven where I believe she’d rather dance than eat.