I took the kids to the Gateway Theatre across from my office because they had a morning movie fest. We missed the activities before the movies last time we went so we made sure to get there earlier this time. Maria was quite disappointed due to the overwhelming “baby” activities that they had set up. I couldn’t argue with her. But, they did have a baby alligator and a lizard for kids to see. Mario stared at them both and pounded questions at the caretaker. They also had a tarantula that Mario almost rubbed faces with when the caretaker took it out. All I could picture was that spider’s fangs digging into Mario and I finally grabbed him away. My smart Maria kept her distance.
We got our popcorn and cookie and took our seats at the very top of the theatre. They play a movie short and then a fun local band, Shazbott’s, plays music before the next movie. Mario loves to go to the front of the theatre and dance. Maria is starting to get self-conscious about it all and stayed in her seat the first round. She only came down the next time because I begged her. She stood by me and watched Mario dance. Mario stood by a blond girl who I believe was part of the band. Later he asked for my phone and I saw him taking a ton of pictures of her. Freaky little guy.
While Maria and I watched Mario dance with the other little kids, I noticed a bald guy holding a little black-haired girl dancing around to the music. He looked like someone I knew – I couldn’t think of who so I found myself glancing over at him off and on to try to remember. He continued to dance with the little girl and then a woman came up from behind him and started to use sign language. He spoke back to her in sign. Another lady approached them and the two women began talking. After a few seconds, they started to sign for the guy. They all laughed.
I began to tear up. How ridiculous I kept thinking to myself. Hold it together. You are breaking down over seeing a manspeak in sign with his wife and friend?
Well, that little talk to myself did not work. I continued to be emotional. But there was something so raw about the sight. The beauty of this man unable to hear the music like we hear it but still dancing with his daughter. Laughing with his family.
The audacity of love. The joy of life. It hit me like a truck rolling right over me; embrace this time. Enjoy Mario’s dancing. Appreciate Maria’s laugh. Treasure their kinship.
I am grateful for these moments in life where some gesture or some person wakes you up and allows you to take a deeper look at where you are and what you have and all that is good in life. We walked out of the theatre and over to my work so Maria and Mario could push the elevator buttons and grab a couple of chocolate bars out of my colleague’s candy dish. Simple pleasures.