Let's check in on the the Dancing Man....
The Dancing Man is a figurine I was given to help with drawing and painting when I was 15 years old. He's followed me through many moves, into a marriage, and into expanding that family. I don't know who drew on his face years ago. Might have been my sister (I wouldn't put it past her!) I mentioned him in an old newsletter post but spotted him recently on the windowsill and I wanted to share again!
For many years, The Dancing Man sat on a bookshelf. Then, one day, I noticed he had moved.
It took me a while to realize how. After all, I came from a family where for decades my father would move the owl on the mantle to sit on his tail, and my mother would put him back on his feet. We knew my brother in law would fit in the family when he started messing with them both by setting new positions. Sideways. Backwards. Blindfolded. After my father had retinal surgery, the owl sported an eye patch for days before my mother noticed. It was never discussed. It just happened quietly with both sides having their laughs behind the other's backs as they waited for the other person to notice!
So, I was suspicious of my husband when my Dancing Man was found one day with his arms above his head. The next week, he was bowing. I joined in, moving him to be cross, his hands on his hips.
I said nothing to the husband for months, but when I noticed it only changed on Wednesdays and that was too consistent for him... I confronted him. He was baffled.
That's when I figured it out; our cleaner (and friend) came on Wednesdays.
It went on for years and we still have not spoken about it. The Dancing Man has completed the YMCA dance, the Macarena, gone swimming, marched, crawled, and done some lovely ballet over the years. He even recruited a local statue to hug once and got into a fight with a wizard (and a toad).
The Dancing Man hasn't moved lately though. Sadly, my friend stopped coming to clean because her health took a bad turn. Dancing Man hangs on a windowsill now, looking like he's back to a simple jig, as I wait for news about the results of her treatments. Chemotherapy wrecked her immune system, so she couldn't even visit for tea or see the kids. All we could do was drop care packages off.
But the Dancing Man is my reminder to try to make time for that kind of silliness. We did it without saying a word, not needing recognition. I looked forward to Wednesdays to see what she'd come up with and so long as that little figure is still in my life, I'll remember her.
Who says you have to grow up?
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D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.