Well, as I mentioned in the "Elsie" post, Mrs. Sanders was my favorite teacher EVER. And that's saying something, because I've had some amazing ones.
As I've already told you, she loved the multiplication tables and she loved reading books to us--books that took us places. She also had two other loves she shared with us--square dancing and singing.
On square-dancing days, she and Mrs. Thomas (the 6th grade teacher and principal) would fold back the heavy, wooden doors that separated their two rooms. Then, we would scoot all the desks to the walls and we would make these HUGE oval-shaped circles. Mrs. Sanders would put the square-dancing-record (complete with the caller's instructions) on her little record player, and we would DANCE.
Keep in mind that, besides the dancin' I witnessed most Sunday nights at the Kimberly Church of God (yet another story for yet another time), dancing was not a part of my chubby little life.
My skinny Baptist cousins could dance....Man could they dance! (In my mind, I can still see Gary Paul and Patty and Dawn and...especially...SONJA bustin' some moves. I was SO jealous.) Whenever all us cousins were together at my Mimi and Uncle Bill's house...all the way down in Hueytown...and everybody was dancing, my sweet Mimi would try to help my rhythm-challenged body learn some moves. She would say, "Here, Baby, just pretend your picking apples and puttin' 'em in a basket." ...Unfortunately, that's exactly what it always looked like.
But, square dancing sort of leveled the playing field for us chubby, non-rhythmic Pentecostals. Typically, all you had to do was meet your partner in the middle, hook elbows, skip in a circle, then join hands and dance to the end of the line. (Almost always, Mrs. Sanders even appointed your partner, so that nobody was left not getting "picked.")
My FAVORITE square dance was the Virginia Reel. It had some fancy moves, where you would do-si-do and chasse and take everybody in line around for a spin. This lasted until everyone had a chance to be "head couple." Then...we would usually beg "Do it again!" And, of course, Mrs. Doubtfire (umh...I mean Mrs. Sanders) would always let us. I can still see her sitting beside that record player, clapping her hands and tapping her feet. Sometimes, with enough begging, she would even join the dance.
After I became a mom, I really wanted my boys to learn to square dance....Yeah...you can imagine their reaction.
But...just now...as I've written this...I realize it wasn't so much that I wanted them to square dance as it was that I wanted them to feel the same happiness and freedom and...BLISS...as I felt in that circle...with my favorite teacher smiling and clapping...and the music swirling around me...and...just...dancing.
That's what I wanted...what I still want...what I'll always want for my sons--moments of BLISS as they journey through this upside-down Kingdom.
"They will come home and sing songs of joy....They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts.... Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone. The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing....My people will feast on my good gifts. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 31:12-14 NLT)