Wait a minute, here. This isn't from the Greek Festival. This looks like Katy at a baby shower! What gives?
A baby shower in Ogden and her mother is in Anchorage? That's just not right! But, it's not the reason for the tears, either. Nope. Even though Katy is Penny's Only Best Beloved and this is Katy's and Jon's first Best Beloved Baby Boy we all wish we could make the world perfect for, not being there for the shower did not make me cry, although there is a tie-in which I will explain in a minute.
I do have to say, though, that I have a very thoughtful friend who took picture after picture and sent each one directly to me as the shower progressed so I could at least get a sense of how it was in real time. Katy was the only person at the shower this friend knew, too, so what a sport, right? (Of course, I always knew Peggy Sue was a sport! I've been on road trips with the woman, for one. She sometimes lets me drive!)
I knew she was in good hands, too, with her sis-in-law Charity (pictured at Katy's right) and others of Jon's family giving her the shower. Honestly, I don't even like showers, myself. I was having a gay ol' time at the Anchorage Senior Activities Center Multicultural Carnival while other people were making this baby shower for my daughter. Sorry Katy, I'm kind of relieved I didn't have to be there. Peggy's picture present was perfect! (Gasp and sputter--don't you judge me!)
Well for heaven's sake, what about crying at the Greek Festival, then? Well. I went there with a couple of young friends who put up with my "membership in an older generation," let's call it, and even at that, I think it fair to say we had similar general goals for attending the Greek Festival. Tradition, memories, and food, mostly.
We sat under the tent with our food, (my chicken with lemon and oregano, their gyros,) listening to live music--bouzouki/lyra players, watching the dancers up on the stage, having a very pleasant Alaskan summer experience. The music was rythmic and the dancers young, energetic, fresh-faced. It moved me. I wondered how these particular young people came to be Greek Dancers and not, well, not something else entirely. Not that they probably aren't a lot of something elses as well, but you know how I tend to over-think and imagine about things. I was also surprised and delighted when the musicians transitioned seamlessly into playing Hava Nagila and the dance just continued as it had begun.
Then came time for the community dancing. People came up from the audience, joined hands and arms with the performers already on the stage and began dancing a spiral dance, probably "ikaria," but I'm a bit rusty on my folk dances these days. (I wonder if that folk dancing activity is still going on in SLC at the Unitarian Church. That's pretty fun if you have the nerve to just show up and try to dance with strangers in a church basement!)
Then this happened: A little boy in traditional Greek costuming hopped up on the stage, danced over to where two other costumed dancers were hooked at the shoulders, reached up--way up because he was just a little fellow--and put his hands on both their upper arms to indicate that he wanted to dance between them. They broke, allowed him to slide in between them and all three kept dancing without missing steps or beat. It was a simple, subtle and sweet action that probably went unnoticed by everyone but the four of us and was a big deal to only one of us.
But see, here's the thing. My heart had already been a bit tenderized from certain things at the carnival earlier today which will be covered in another post, and by being at a Greek festival which I have loved to do for years and years, and by my being here in Alaska when I never would have dreamed I would be experiencing a redemption of sorts, as it were, at this point in my life.
And my mind is on loving a certain little boy--the child of my child--who I can't be with right now, and I can't talk to on the phone like I can his mother, and haven't even seen yet, duh! So I imagine he could be like this child dancing with the big boys, trusting their acceptance of him, wanting to be incuded in something bigger than himself, having a musically magic life spiraled out before him, being so loved and cared for that he will be fresh-faced forever! Yes, he could be that little boy or he could be one of those big boys before I ever have my fill of his being my little bitty brand spanking new grandson.
That's when I became so moved and mushy that I cried at the Greek Festival.