This is for when the day has been a bit long and your patience has been a bit short, when you find yourself saying things like Don’t Make Me Come Down There and Honestly Can I Not Have Five Minutes Without Someone Having a Crisis? and Because I Said So, That’s Why. It’s for when you forgot to eat breakfast. It’s for when your best friend goes back to work full-time, and you’re quite lonely for her and your little nieces during the day. It’s for when you are in the time between sending off your book proposal and waiting to hear if anyone even likes it and you’re pretty sure everyone will hate it, in fact, you kind of hate it now, too. It’s for when you wonder what your life is for, exactly, and you sort of want to burn down the Internet, you want to run away to live in a library in Paris, eating nothing but bread and cheese and apples for the rest of your life, washed down with wine, maybe you’ll get a few chickens, you’re out of coffee.
So here is the thing: open all the windows, even though it’s raining again. Let the cold air sweep through the house, into your lungs. Put a hat on the baby, just in case, socks, too, and then turn on the music. Turn it on, and when the tinies ask for something fast and fun, say yes.
And then dance. Dance. Dance. Dance. Twist your hips and waggle your bum, raise your hands above your head and swing wild. Listen to your children laugh and begin to dance, sweep the baby into your arms and spin in circles. Lead a parade around the kitchen, singing at the top of your lungs. Dance until your thighs ache and you break a sweat, until your son’s smile is so big, you can see his molars. Sing loud and play air guitar on top of the coffee table, when they holler “Watch me, mama!” your eyes are already there, memorizing the moment. When the man on the iPod sings that he wants more, baby, you’ll know just what he means.
Then close the windows and carry on. You can go get your groceries together, like you had planned, you’re out of eggs. And when Whitney Houston starts to sing that she wants to dance with somebody through the tinny intercom at the grocery store, this is what will happen. You’ll be pushing the gigantic germy cart, with the baby riding shotgun, and the tinies trailing behind, dejected over yet another “no, you may not have that,” and your hips will start to move, and you’ll catch their eye. Their faces will light up with anticipation of Mum-Being-Crazy and when you let go of the cart, and start to spin and dance in the middle of the diaper aisle, they’ll start to spin and dance, too, without question or thought or self-conscious checking, and you’ll all sing and dance, like a bunch of idiots, you want to dance with somebody and you are, and it will be too much joy, all of a sudden, too much richness, all of a sudden, and you won’t be able to catch your breath for all the gratitude and sadness and happiness and longing and satisfaction colliding in the grocery store.