Sometimes my father would play the guiro and dance. He loved to dance and spin and twirl his partners. He has that old school salsero charm, and if at a wedding - he makes sure he dances all night. And he'll throw his head back and laugh, even though I know he's getting tired.
I never appreciated salsa as a child. But as I grew up, I appreciated the simple complexity of the movements. And while The Husband and I hardly have the opportunity to dance together, when we do, I like to tease him by reciting lines from Dirty Dancing: Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.
(I'm getting to my point, really.)
It's rare that we play music (I can't remember the last time I put on the radio) but whenever we do I try to get The Boy to dance. He has no interest in dancing, unless you bribe him with three pieces of gum. And quite honestly, when he does, I realize he will not be a charming salsero like his grandfather.
Anyway...they must be going over body parts in school because lately The Boy keeps pointing and saying, "That's your body. Those are your hips." And it's cute because he'll put his hands on hips and move from side to side.
So the other night when he said it, it made me think of that Dora the Explorer episode where they're going to her cousin's Quinceañera. Dora and Boots dance the mambo while singing "wiggle your hips, wiggle your hips." I asked The Boy to put his hands on hips and wiggle. I clapped my hands and started dancing, asking him to dance with me. The Boy tried, smiling and wiggling his hips, twisting from side to side. He has spaghetti arms and stiff hips. He is awkward in his movements. And still tries so hard. I shouldn't laugh, but I do. Because The Boy's smile is contagious and he's having fun.
The Boy may not have the dance moves working in his favor, but the charm - he's getting there.
Our Weekend Homework: Dance first. Think later.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.