Monday, March 26, 2012

Bluegrass Brunch

Happy Monday!

Our weekend was a whirlwind of fun.. Ollie's first craft class, visits with friends, HUNGER GAMES, the park... But the standout for me (and I think for Ollie, if you asked him, was finally making it to the Dakota Tavern's Bluegrass Brunch.

We've been trying to motivate ourselves to head over to the Dakota to line up by 10:30 on a Sunday morning for admission to the 11 am brunch for ages (and I've been shamed by the fact that Randalin and Kale have made it twice in two years even though they're at least an hour away, whereas we hadn't made it the five minute walk even once!).

Basically, this local bluegrass bar (excellent by night), opens it's doors for a family-style, basic brunch with the main attraction being a bluegrass band playing all through the morning. It is super family friendly and perfect for a little boy who's favorite instrument is the banjo (right now).

At first, Ollie was a little overwhelmed. Heading into the dimly lit, bustling basement bar full of families and brunchers was noisy, and the music was a little louder than I expected (but much quieter than it is on a Saturday night). Ollie was captivated by the band right away, but wanted to sit on my lap and keep his coat on for the first couple of minutes.

I bounced him on my knee in time to the music for the first song. By the second song he was clapping along, but his face was uncertain. By the third song he had lit up with a little glow of excitement over the banjo! guitar! and was ordering everyone at the table to clap along. And after wolfing down a pancake (clapping all the while), he was ready to get up and hit the dance floor. A little girl took his hand and showed him where to stand to get the best view of the band, and he was off.. bouncing and clapping, and taking breaks to stare intently at the "big guys" on stage.

Ollie does so many cool things, and has so many interests that completely fascinate and surprise me as his mother, but his joy watching the band play yesterday totally filled me up with love and pride. Oliver's  joy in the music was the only thing he thought about all morning, and his dancing and clapping and grinning was completely his own, just an expression of how good it made him feel. Totally un-self conscious, totally open and free. Standing in that basement watching Ollie dance, I started thinking about myself, and about my own relationship to music, and dancing, and opening up in that way.

In my family's church going days, we belonged to one of those churches where "worship" was a very important (most important?) element of faith. There was singing, and there was dancing. There were eyes closed and hands in the air. I remember feeling that I was an awkward and graceless pre-teenaged girl in a room full of men and women gifted with the ability to share their faith in the most beautiful ways.

I remember watching adults cry, holding their hands in the air, asking for forgiveness or offering up thankfulness, and I very clearly remember the children, joining hands and kicking up their feet to dance circles around the hotel Ballroom A that served as our sanctuary. I remember a particular occasion on which one of my friends reached out her hand to me, pulling me into the circle and I tried to mimic the absolute abandon and joy of the others and to fall into the rhythm, step kick step kick step kick step kick.

But almost right away I felt myself flooded with self conscious. I felt my face turning red and my eyes welling up as they did when I judged myself to be an embarrassment. I pulled out of the group and back into the centre of the large circle, and a sympathetic woman took my wrist and looked into my eyes to comfort me “That’s alright honey, it happens to the best of us. The Devil’s got your feet."

I think about that moment every single time I hit a dance floor without enough liquid courage to just let myself move.  Since I don't believe in the devil (anymore), I think about how sad it is that any part of a person can hold them back from just letting themselves go, and I wonder when that happens - because I know that it doesn't start in toddlerhood.

Watching Ollie dance just the way he felt like he wanted to made me so happy, and made me realize that dancing along with him, I don't feel that tug to root my feet to the earth (gravity? self-consciousness? devilish intervention?). I don't care if I look silly if it makes him feel good. And I hope he never cares. I hope I never have to see that moment where the devil gets his feet.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that you guys went and that Ollie enjoyed it! It really is the most family friendly place I've been (without being completely kid focused and unbearable).

    Kris and I often joke when we're having dance parties with Kale that we've lost all our "moves" and would be down right embarrassed to hit a real dance floor. But truthfully, I think dancing with Kale has made us BETTER dancers in that we let go, act silly and feel good. I just don't think any bar out there is ready for the moves Kale has taught me...


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