Photo by: Cimm

Like Zumba - a Life Lesson

Photo by: Cimm

Mirrors stretch from the floor to the ceiling of one long wall. Bass thumping, music bounces off the brick walls; I’m keenly aware of my body in this space. As the instructor begins moving, swiveling her hips in a circle, moving her feet to the rhythm of the beat, I struggle to see her amid the sleek, slender bodies of the other women who are dancing almost effortlessly. And though I try, I really, really try, I just cannot see well enough to imitate what she’s doing amid all the other experienced dancers. So I do my best to shake my hips to the beat, move in the right direction.

By the end of the second song, I’m frustrated. I feel simultaneously invisible and on display, and finally, somewhere around song four, as sweat is dripping down forehead, I resign to simply do my best and enjoy the music. I somehow catch the instructor’s eye in the mirror. And though I’m void of rhythm at that moment, and my right foot is moving when my left leg should, she winks and smiles, encouraging me in my great effort, though I’m showing little signs of improvement. Her smile gives me the confidence to move my own body a little more swiftly, a little more to the beat of her drum. As the last few songs echo, ricochet against the brick walls, I smile and move into the rhythm gaining comfort with my own body, enjoying the last bit of my first all-Zumba class.

When I arrive home, I hear my 3.5 year old scurry down the hall way toward the door, feet thumping against the ceramic tile. I hear him exclaim that he’s so happy to see me he can barely wait for my grandfather to unlock the door. G. throws his little arms around my leg and declares that he’s been waiting for me to get dressed in his pajamas. We scurry off to bed, pull the covers over feet, and he snuggles against my neck as we recap the day and pray.

As I think about his day – like when he couldn’t quite get the soap out of the dispenser, though he really, really tried – my heart reels a little. I think about how I, trying to juggle holding his squirmy brother while manipulating the soap bottle, sighed under my breath and told him to focus on the task, try harder. Those types of moments happen more than I’d like to admit.

As he drifts to sleep, I wonder if maybe being 3.5 years old is kind of like being the new girl at Zumba. And I resign in my heart that next time I’ll slow down, catch his eye in the mirror and smile instead.

Hyacynth writes about all things motherhood at her blog, Undercover Mother. She’s a lover of words, chai tea, her boys and the God who created it all. Visit her at Undercover Mother.

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