A Moment in Time

A few weeks ago, a family friend gave me a stack of pictures from her wedding in 2002. Ethan was the ring bearer in their wedding and also, the free entertainment at the reception.
He was only 4 years old, too young to care what anyone thought, and so as soon as the music started playing, he hit the dance floor all by himself and WENT OFF. The kid danced for probably 30 minutes by himself while everyone watched, cheered him on and laughed until they had tears rolling down his face.
It was hysterical because the kid had THE MOVES and wasn’t afraid to use them.
Andrew wanted nothing to do with the dance floor I begged him to get out there with his brother, but he refused. It’s always like that with my boys. Ethan is a free spirit, not too worried about what people think, not afraid to bust out the Elvis Dance Moves at a wedding.
(Which reminds me of my friend’s wedding last summer. The entire reception, people were begging me to do The Worm. “But I can’t! I have a skirt on! And we all know what happened the last time that happened the last time that I did The Worm in a skirt!” But they didn’t care and kept egging me on and finally, I was all “Tony, here! Hold my wine! Fear not! I’m tucking the skirt in!” and I wormed my way across the dance floor. Ah, he is SO my son.)
I was able to talk Andrew into one dance that day. It took a lot of begging and pleading, but he finally gave in and danced with me and Ethan. I do remember that dance and how lucky I felt to have both of my little guys there, holding my hand dancing with me. I had no idea how much that dance would mean to me almost 5 years later.
Cherish Every Moment
That dance that I had begged my oldest son for, the one where we laughed and twirled and sang along to the music was now a memory that a random stranger had captured on film. I held that picture in my hands and I began to cry.
A picture, snapped by a complete stranger, holds more meaning to this mother than that person will ever know. One picture among hundreds taken that day.
A picture that reminds me just how fast the time really flies—how I blinked and that little boy in the red shirt is a few months away from his Freshman year in high school and that little munchkin in the blue shirt is now “too cool” to let loose like he did that day.
I’m so grateful for this picture. It serves as a reminder that I really must cherish every moment. I had no idea that day as I was dancing with my boys that beautiful day in 2002 that 5 years later, I’d be sitting with my teenage son, looking at a picture of that very moment, and hear the words “you know mom, that will be the only picture you’ll ever see of me dancing with you like that.”
(Did you hear that sound? That was my heart, breaking into a million pieces.)
If I had known that, maybe I would have danced a little longer with them that day, or maybe I would have reminded myself to never forget the way their laugh sounded as they were twirling around, or maybe I would have asked someone to take more pictures, or maybe I would have broke down right there on the dance floor, dropped to my knees and begged God to please let them still little just a while longer because I wasn’t prepared for the day that they were too grown to dance with their mama to come so damn soon.

63 thoughts on “A Moment in Time

  1. Laura

    Yes, I too remember when my son was young enough to dance like nobody was watching and even slow dance with his Mother. (of course I had to pick him up and carry him to get him at eye level:) Now he is 15 and big enough to pick me up. With absolutely no desire to dance with me or let me kiss him goodbye when I drop him at school!
    Your son will dance with you again, you just have to wait a bit until his wedding……………

  2. Julie

    Hi. Just found your blog on recommendation from CPA Mom. I was looking for workout songs and she pointed me to your archives – thanks!
    Very sweet post and photo. I love the reference to doing the worm too. I have a colleague who busts out that move every year at the xmas party!

  3. Cheri

    My first thought was the same as Laura’s…he’ll dance with you again – at his wedding.
    My D still says he’ll live with me forever, dance with me always and never stop giving kisses. I dread the day that changes. My heart will def break. Great pic btw!!

  4. Katie

    Beautiful :-) I feel that way constantly! I try never to voice my thoughts, because the one thing I fear more than anything is that they won’t grow up, and that they’ll stay little forever (like, in a casket). I am not saying you shouldn’t have posted this – I love it! It’s so wonderful to remember those times, even if they do have to pass so quickly. When I read something like this, it’s a reminder to cherish every moment and love them with 100% of my heart. Thanks :-)

  5. Wendy

    What a sweet picture and story! If only my son would dance with me like that! He is such an introvert! Thanks for the reminder to cherish every moment with our kiddos no matter how busy we get!!!

  6. Cara

    My son just turned two years old and I feel like this constantly. I try to really enjoy each and every hug, dance, kiss, and moment. I know that it won’t be long when he will be way too cool for all that. It tears me up to even think about it.
    My husband totally does not get why I cried when everyone sang him happy birthday at his party. I did it last year at his first and will probably do it every year. It means he is one year older. One year closer to being an adult and not my snuggy buggy.

  7. Susan

    Did you hear that? That was MY heart, breaking into a million little pieces, right next to yours.
    Can’t our babies please stay young forever?

  8. dcrmom

    What an awesome post. And you know what? Don’t listen to him. My Hubby dances with his mother to this day. He may come back around some day. :-)

  9. Mary/Diz

    They DO grow up too fast & it IS heartbreaking when they say things like that, but it’s amazing how comments like that eventually turn out NOT to be true … hold on to both memories until the day you DO dance with him like that again & have the photo to prove it & remind him of this day – I’m learning [I too have kiddos about the same age as yours] how quickly things they say come back to bite THEM in the tooshie! ;o)
    {{{{{{ BIG HUGS }}}}}}

  10. demondoll

    Oh, man… that just squeezes my heart!
    I was just lamenting how a few months ago, my son would hug and kiss me goodbye. Today it was a half-hearted hug and a cheerful bye, Mom!

  11. Angel

    This made me cry, especially because I have two little boys who are now 5 and 7, and it just goes so quickly, you are right. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. rebecca

    That made me cry! I have a little boy, almost 2, who is growing up too fast for my taste. I can absolutely picture myself in your shoes, wondering where the time went.
    Thanks for writing this.

  13. Lindsey

    Geeze, between this post and Zoots tribute to LilZ, I don’t even know why I bothered putting the Kleenex away! Really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  14. Jordan

    Stop it! Stop it right now! You should post some sort of warning at the beginning of posts like these to warn people (especially those of us who are hormonal and weepy anyway) to skip today’s entry or risk drowning in their own tears.
    Seriously though, you speak the truth and you do it beautifully. Thanks for sharing such a sweet memory and helping me cherish my little guy that much more.

  15. Ro

    I’ve been having a lot of those moments lately with the kids. I’ve been trying to catch them with my camera as much as possible with things because I know some will be the one and only time I get to see them do whatever it is. Ugh! Sucks having kids that grow up so fast! *Sniffle!*

  16. DebbieS

    ::sniffle:: what an awesome picture…you definitely need to have it framed!
    Ditto to what everyone else said, Ethan will dance with you at his wedding someday =) Get a little wine in him at the reception, he may bust out The Moves again!
    Still, though, WAAHHH. Somebody else wants to send you a picture frame, want me to send you a dustpan for your poor shattered heart?

  17. Coco

    Sniff. Sniff. Indeed.
    Then I had to explain to my hisband why I was crying and re-read it to him… only to cry more.
    They will dance with you again.

  18. tiffers

    that is a beautiful photo, and a beautiful post.
    in a weird way, it made me glad i don[‘t have any kids, because i don’t think my heart could take it.
    i mean, i just teared up over yours, and we’ve never even met.
    p.s.
    thanks for the email! i thought you were kidding about doing that!

  19. AdventureDad

    We’ve always like photography and have focused on capturing our children’s lives from the very first minute. All thousands of photos are sorted and used as a screen saver on a daily basis. We make huge enlargements and put them on the wall or just flick through the months and look at some clips of photos. Taking lots of photos is one of the best things we ever did
    As you say, time flies and before we know it the kids will be ready to move in with their girlfriend/boyfriend
    But I will always have the photos as a memory regardless of what happens.
    AD

  20. Jennifer

    My son just turned 6 months old & I’ve had this feeling of “when will he hate letting me dance him to sleep?” for about 3 months now. I started thinking about his wedding day (I’m crazy…) & broke into tears over us dancing together there.
    Perfect post – thank you!

  21. Rachel

    You made me cry too. Let Ethan know that girls love a great dancer. Especially one that is fun and can really bust a move! What a beautiful picture. It definitely needs a frame!
    The worm is the best. I have a friend who was talked into doing it on her wedding day. At the after party though and she had to wear a jacket so her boobs didn’t pop out of her strapless dress.

  22. Lisa

    Wow. I love the picture and I love how this post brought me up short and made me think. Because, just about 5 minutes ago, I turned to my 3-year-old son after he said “Mama? Guess what?” for the 40-thrillionth time as I’m trying to have a few minutes on the computer, and I said, “Declan, I can’t listen to you right now. Please leave me alone.” Thank you for reminding me that time passes alllll to quickly for me to be saying things like that!

  23. Amber

    One of the most beautiful posts Y! Its so crazy how quickily they all grow up. I can just imagine 5 yrs from now, ok never mind I don’t want to imagine. My boys will be 12,10 & 7!!! Wow! Ok enough, that was a beautiful post & even more beauiful picture!

  24. GeorgiaGirl

    I’m a lurker but I got all teary reading this, especially after hearing your heart break into a million pieces. I have an almost 2 year old and this is a good reminder for me to cherish every moment.

  25. monileigh

    Oh my…I am bawling my eyes out here! Came here from Ro’s…loved ‘meeting’ you! You are a true nut…my kinduf woman! LOLOLOL I loved all the pics and reading your posts…truly hilarious! Thanks for the laughs!

  26. Amy in the Twin Cities

    (turning away from transom window flanking office door so coworkers don’t wonder why I’m crying at work for no good reason) Touching, beautiful, perfect. You never cease to amaze me. You are an incredible woman!

  27. Rory

    I can only add to all the other comments.
    That was a truly lovely post, Yvonne. Really touching. Such a simple description which struck a chord in so many hearts.
    What I also liked: Weddings look the same over here in England, too! I’m sure I’ve been in that hall!

  28. Mrs. Flinger

    Oh, damnit, now I’m picturing my boy saying, “Aw, come off it, mom! I’m not gonna dance!”
    I’ll be sure to appreciate the days to come. And you know what? They don’t know this but they WILL dance with you again. Maybe at their wedding, but they will. Their wife will make them. :-)

  29. jesseeezmom

    As always Y Beautiful Post! Definitely tear worthy! I don’t have a boy so its different= girls love to dance-we don’t even need music (or pants in your case!)! As for proof visit any local 7 year old girls softball game- they’ll be in the outfield practicing their dance routines. My favorite memories are of dancing with my father, he would dance with all his girls all the time (My mom, me, my sisters and my daughter (he’s in heaven now). The earliest memory being to Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” camping in the desert standing on a milk crate at about 3 or 4, at my wedding 20yrs ago, even in the end to “Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross and he whispered in my ear “I’m still here” a few months before he passed. Warning do not listen to this song if you are hormonal and do not have on waterproof mascara.
    My daughter is 21 and when she thinks of Grandpa she remembers all the dips and twirls with Grandpa. Lucky for us my husband is just like my father and has no problem, randomly spinning and dipping us till we laugh. Pighunter is so lucky because G-Unitwill always love to dance with her Dad. Thank you for bringing back such good memories!

  30. Andrea

    So beautiful and poignant. You expressed what we all know deep down, but so often forget. Take time to dance, ladies!

  31. Jess in Mi

    This made me tear up, as my 3 year old son is acting crazy and being too loud because my 5 year old son is sick and asleep upstairs, I picked him up and gave him a big kiss. What does he say you ask? My darling 3 year old, Chase says as I kiss him,” EWWW Dog germs!” LMAO. Kids are the best!!

  32. Bonnie

    Stop making me cry at work! I can attest, as the mother of 24 year old son, that they grow away..push away…and then one day you get a call..Mom…I need your advice…what do you think…AND he will be proud of you and yes, dance with you too. DAMMIT I gotta work here.

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