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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz...

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:


Lori said...

This is so sweet and beautiful. I love dancing with my children and grandchildren. I just loved reading about these women dancing with their children...there is something so sweet and precious about that. William is a blessed little boy. XX

Life with Kaishon said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwww. I love this. I don't know William's story, so I wonder if she wanted to give him up or if she was made to? I always wonder this. The whole idea of losing a baby makes me cry and cry. Kaishon's mom did not want to give him up but she was forced because of addiction issues.

Judi said...

How wonderful. I use to dance and dance with mine prior to their developing their own taste in music and their own ability to, alas, they tell me I can't dance...but every once in awhile they feel for the old lady and dance with me...unfortunately they don't need to stand on my feet anymore! You are making wonderful memories!

Colleen: said...

Thank you very much Lori! We feel very blessed too.:)
Becky, I understand what you mean, it's so very hard to imagine having to do that as to be almost impossible. So many circumstances that we can never really understand I think...
Marianne, I'm sorry you deleted your comment, I really enjoyed it!:) Jeg var ikke helt sikker på om noen vil merke at linjen var fra Leonard Cohen.:) Jeg elsker den sangen selv om du har rett i at tekstene er egentlig ikke for barn!;) Jeg spiller mye Leonard Cohen for William, synes hanlike det! Takk for din kommentar og let's keep dancing with our beautiful boys while we can!:) Take care friend!
Judi, it gives a great excuse to dance like crazy people doesn't it?!:) And you are so NOT old...not even close, you are way more fun than me for example! Love you!

Mariannes blogg said...

Jeg skulle ikke slettet den... men mens jeg danset med Marius (måtte jo det!) ble jeg usikker...
Men jeg skal slutte å slette;))
Jeg elsker Leonard Cohen, og bare følelsen av å slow danse med Marius til akkurat denne sangen var fantastisk!(med tårer i øynene akkurat da jeg sang: and i'll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photograps there and the moss...
Og da kan jeg jo si igjen at dansing med barn bør likestilles med bæring og samsoving for tilknytningen sin del:))
For meg er LC en veldig åndelig mann, og musikken og de helt supre kordamene kan få meg til å gråte.
Take this waltz take this waltz
It's yours now it's all that there is. :))
(Og når jeg tenker meg om, så er en tekst bare det vi selv gjør den til:)

Ine said...

Oh wow - I didn't know that! Tuva loves music, and she likes to dance both on her own and with us. After reading this, that has so much more meaning. ♥

Michael Khatcherian said...

keep on writing Colleen, I find therapy in your writings

Felisol said...

Dear Colleen,
William indeed is a privileged young boy.
I know quite a few children who have come to Norway from orphanages. Some of them came from overpopulated institutions with only a few nurses to care for the lot.
How right and good it is to know that William has spent quality time dancing and connecting with his mother, the important three first months of his life.
You are his mom, now and forever, and you are building further on a solid construction.

You should be both proud and happy while dancing with your precious son.
Music, movements and songs are among the greatest gifts a child can have.

To me it also is evident that that the baby should sleep with its parents.
I find it sheer barbarism and selfish to place a baby of three months, some say three weeks, in a room all alone.

People need people, and children even more than adults.
A playroom can also have a bed and in due time the child will choose where to sleep.

Even the selfish English upper class place a nanny with their children, day and night.
(And then send the children away to public schools at the age of seven.
Poor, rich children.

LC has my voice too.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is beautiful, Colleen. The pictures are lovely too.

There is a tinge of sadness in the pictures that touches my heart. They show William's roots.

A prayer of thanksgiving rises up in my heart for that precious child...and for you.


kate said...

My dad used to dance with me, in his arms, whirling around..... I was not even 2 and I still remember it! Dancing is very powerful and very loving...... He taught me the waltz when I was a teenager, the polka when I was in my twenties, and he danced the first three dances with me at my wedding! He is gone now, but dancing still, I think.

Colleen: said...

I agree completely about LC Marianne! Thank you for re-posting!:)
Ine, it is so special to know isn't it? Someday it will mean a lot to William and Tuva to know that.
Thank you Michael, I really appreciate your words.
Felisol, thanks for you insightful comment. Yes, the orphanage William was in was more of a large room in a convent actually that took in young pregnant mothers who for the most part had been cast out by their families. (This is a cultural issue in Sri Lanka, not a religious one.) It wasn't overly crowded when we were there although the said that when the tsunami hit, it was sadly crowded then with orphans. Now though, the mothers are there with the babies for the most part until the official court day.
Thank you very much Lidj, I also see that same tinge of sadness you describe when I look at these. I appreciate that you saw it too. God bless.
Mom, that's so beautiful. What a good father. I think you're right, he is still dancing now! Love you!

Modesty is Pretty said...

what a beautiful place, oh your baby is going to enjoy hearing these stories when he gets older and wants to know how was he when he was little =D