When I dance with William to silly childrens songs we whip around in circles on the floor. He throws himself back in my arms, trusting that I will catch him and laughs with sheer delight or if we just sway slowly to the music he stares intently at me and smiles, his nose all wrinkled up and his lips pursed in a funny little way as if he just never imagined that this much fun was possible and wants to make sure I feel the same. I always laugh too of course, I can't help it.
At The Good Shepard Convent in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where William and his biological mother lived from sometime before she gave birth until the day she handed William to us in the courtroom, the nuns told us that every Friday evening they played music for the women there and the new mothers would clasp their new babies in their arms and dance the evening away.
I think about that a lot for some reason. Strains of Sinhalese music filling the warm evening air, a roomful of women in colorful skirts carefully holding their little ones to their chests as they dance, probably some laughter and chatter shot through with the heavy weight of grief for the mothers who know they won't have many more chances to dance with their babies like this.
They have three or four months of Friday evenings...
Some pictures of the peaceful, beautiful gardens of The Good Shepard Convent where we spent a good deal of our allotted daily two hours walking with William: