the dance 

Old red carpet covers the stairs leading upward. I climb the flight wondering what lies ahead. The man at the top collects cash from each person before allowing entrance to the room on the left. 

It feels a bit like the slow motion of a dream.

Forming two lines, it is follow the leader, learning the steps. It seems that the playing field is even and finally my body and mind feel safe enough to wake up. 

This is actually fun. I am swing dancing (or so I think) and each partner is ever so generous as the leader rotates the circle of “follows” through each lead. 

Finally the band takes the stage. The smile on my face is truly coming from the joy bubbling up inside as my husband and I awkwardly “quick, quick, sloow, sloow” and try to twirl to the music. 

We’ve barely begun but he is tired so we take a break. My son asks me to dance and again, the smile. It cannot be contained. I realize the boy is better at this than his dad. And the seed of resentment is planted. 

Oh, how I hate to admit such dreadful humanness!

Returning to the sidelines, I realize the room is filling up. People are dancing and I am watching, comparing myself. The weight of insecurity begins to feed that resentment.

Awkwardly returning to the dance floor, husband does his best to bring the smile back to my face, but it is futile. I have gone into “mean mode,” which only makes him more nervous and awkward. 

The evening passes and it is time to head back down the stairs covered with old red carpet. Hitting the sidewalk, debriefing begins.

WHAT just happened in there? 

This is what is so good about marriage now. Communication. The next twenty-four hours is a dance of processing and communication. A new level of understanding is reached as vulnerability and trust are offered. 

Forgiveness is asked and granted. 

Plans are made to try again.

I am grateful.


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