We dance.

And even with my eyes closed I know the steps by heart.

One two three. One two three.

You wrestle them through tooth brushes and Sponge Bob toothpaste. I tuck gangly legs and chubby thighs into Spiderman pajama bottoms and Cars pajama tops and tuck them up and over and into beds they’ve slept in since they were born.

We two step in the kitchen, over the laundry, past the rows of photos framing the beat, the rhyme, the rhythm to this last decade and a half. In sync. Swaying with the tired and the weekend and the preparation for Monday.

And I love you. I love this melody we make together in this small house that Jackson wishes had stairs. Music lives in this space. And you can sing me anything. I choose your song over Southern harmonies, frequent flier miles, and LadySmith Black Mambazo every day, every year that ticks by. And there’s an orchestra that plays in the living room between the two couches that cost us so much more than money and the toy tiger that sprawls at their feet.

We dance.

My hand in yours even on the nights when I beat your chest and ask all the “Whys?” that have no answer and lie in the dark and listen to us both breathing as we have since our first dance accompanied by wedding rings. And we sleep the ordinary peace of the extraordinary choice – till death do us part. Tomorrow when the sun comes up we will slip back into our steps with your hand at my back, leading, guiding me through the daily ritual of becoming one.

There is only one dance.

Jeremiah 3:31-3-5

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”

And you are my only and forever partner as He leads us in it.


{Photo: Wedding day first dance; 1999.}