Fond farewells, tinsel and happy memories

On Wednesday evening I reminisced about some wonderful dancing times I have had with my group of dancers. Called Maram as it meant Aspirational we have always strived to be the best we could possibly be.Ten years ago I found myself on my own as a single Mum with little boys to look after balancing work, paying the bills and seeking some fun and joy through belly dance. I was approached to teach and I started my class in darkest January right in the middle of the Shakira craze.

Today I cleared out my dance teaching bag. The more I learnt about different styles, different music and better technique the more I have shared with my group over the years. We have indeed been on a dance journey of discovery together and enjoyed every minute of it. I know in my heart of hearts it is time to let go and indeed quit whilst I am ahead but there is sadness in letting go of a group of people and an activity that has probably been my constant source of joy and indeed respite from a harsh world at times in all these years.

What I realised today as I sorted out my bag was the breadth and depth of choreographies and performances I had created for Maram over the years. From funky to Shaabi from grown up oriental to dancing with veils boas and sticks and even a very large pink furry snake we have enjoyed our Wednesdays to create a little world of our own. I never really had a dance plan just my latest mad dance idea that I wanted to share with my lovely gang of dancers and they were always so up for the latest dance adventure! So although I have thrown out a bag of choreo notes and aold grotty dance shoes I shall always have lovely memories to cherish.

I have not choreographed anything with much passion for a while so reflecting on the past today made me think how important it is to cherish the memories but know when it is time to end a fabulous activity as dancing with Maram. I am not sure what the future brings for me creatively but I am enjoying dancing to my lovely man’s drumming and attending other people’s classes and having fun with dance again.

This brings me to this moment in time and family life. This weekend all the kids were home. Large boy and smallish boy and getting bigger girl (lovely man’s daughter). I loved getting out our box of happy tree memories as each bauble; star and tinsel brought back magical memories. It would never occur to us to have a colour coordinated tree and getting bigger girl was somewhat astonished at our antics as we laughed over mad decorations made from nursery and I sighed and waxed lyrical about my parent’s 1950s baubles and tinsel that my Mum has inherited me.

Then there is the nativity. Smallish boy at about eight years old got completely obsessed one year about the need for a nativity. We still have the mad baby that Gran and large boy attempted to make! A loving Gran stomped the town with us to find the last nativity in town! So ever since we now with fondness unwrap the sheep nativity with human baby and cardboard stable lovingly painted with the kids many years ago.

Inheriting a step family and bringing memories together and indeed love has it’s challenges. Enjoying all of this enforces to me that I am right to build my world on love and memories. Creating little moments and fun times for kids are the memories they hold dear for the future. We don’t harp back to the past but share it fondly with each other and I believe my children have a great understanding of their heritage and family life even if they would say so themselves it is decidedly off beat and quirky at times!

So on the night of putting up the tree we created our first memory of Christmas in our new home. Lovely man texts to check if we are all okay and his lovely daughter was okay. I texted back yes we are all fine we are just wrapping her up and covering her with tinsel! Lots of laughter smiles and happy home in years to come we shall say Do you remember that first Christmas when…..