Dancing to Cotton-Eyed Joe

My baby brother and his family visited us this past weekend. For a childless couple set in their ways it was an adjustment! But we loved it and now the house is SO quiet.

On Saturday night, after supper, we were in the family room relaxing and talking when the 18-month-old decided to dance. So we played her favorite song and she really rocked out. Then we played the two-and-a-half-year-old’s favorite song. That would be Cotton-Eyed Joe. Well now, I’m partial to that one, too!

So we all danced. Grown-ups, little ones, even the dog jumped in. We hopped around, stomped our feet, did some random jigs, clapped, and laughed. In the midst of it I thought to myself. Now THIS is living.

It was sheer joy and love and laughter and if anyone looked in the window as they went by I have to think they smiled. And it would never have happened without those kids. My husband and I have moments of joy, but we rarely whoop it up like that. Kids give you permission to be a little silly. To cut loose in ways you wouldn’t otherwise.

I don’t live in the moment nearly enough. I’m too busy planning ahead or reliving something that’s past. And while some of that is needed, this moment right here, the one we’re sharing now, well that’s pretty fine, too.

That’s what those kids gave me this weekend. A reminder to stop and mark moments of grandeur–not later, but right then. Moments when joy overflows and calls out to you to breathe in the smell of baby hair and breathe out laughter. And then to dance because now is so very, very good.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

7 thoughts on “Dancing to Cotton-Eyed Joe

  1. I love this. And especially this: “And while some of that is needed, this moment right here, the one we’re sharing now, well that’s pretty fine, too.”

    That’s what I did this past weekend too. I hung out with my sister, brother-in-law and their amazing little boy and for one whole weekend, forgot about deadlines and book releases and blogging and all the other fun but time-consuming stuff that comes from a writing career. 🙂 Living in the moment–it was a fabulous feeling.

  2. I’ve learned that much of planning ahead is wasted – it’s like what I learned about weather and flying. The stuff that’s there is what you’ll fly through.

    And looking back is even worse, for we humans have a tendency to look back on the vistas that break our hearts, in ways small or large. If we looked back to learn…but, usually, we don’t. We look back to cry.

    The moment we have is the only one we’re guaranteed, and what better way to appreciate that gift from the Almighty than to embrace it for all that it is?

    And not using it as a seat from which to view a lost pat, or a brick to build a glittering future?

  3. One thing I learned with having little ones was “all you have is now”. So I’d better enjoy NOW. Which wasn’t always easy. Nooooo. Especially when they were screaming blue murder in the grocery store because I wouldn’t let the princess eat the broccoli before we paid for it. That whole “sold by weight” thing? Yeah.
    But that same girl sang to my very big baby belly, and once her brother was born, took care of him as if God Himself couldn’t do it right, either.

    Yesterday is a vapour, tomorrow isn’t a promise. Now is all we have.



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