He Has to Dance

Dear Oscar,

Yesterday at the movie theater, as the credits were rolling and a snappy song came on to conclude the film, your brother Edgar broke into a spontaneous and unabashed dance.  He was the only one who jumped out of his seat.  He was the only one who danced.  And to say you were mortified is most certainly an understatement.

You–I would say better than anyone at times–know your brother.  You know who he is, how he sees the world, how he engages with whatever is before him.  At times you have even said you wished you were more like him.  And I know you love him.

But yesterday you looked as though you were ready to crawl under your sweatshirt and out of the theater lest anyone think you’re related.

When I asked you about it later, you said you were embarrassed.  You asked why he has to “do things like that.”

And that’s precisely the point–he does.  He engages and interacts with the world without much–sometimes without any–regard for what others might think.  He feels and sees and hears what others don’t.  He is not constrained by convention.  In other words, he’s not like you.  He’s not like me.  He’s not like most of the people you’ll meet on your journey through life.

This is Edgar’s challenge, but it is also his strength.  It’s what will put formidable obstacles in his way but also allow him to achieve what others will not or cannot.

So, let him be who he is and don’t look away.  The world will not judge you on the things your brothers do, but it just might on the way you react.




4 thoughts on “He Has to Dance

  1. We are not responsible for our parents, siblings, or anyone to whom we may be related or befriend. It is a tremendous relief when we have this weight of others lifted from our shoulders. And, the relief is even greater when you age and take on more responsibilities, maybe even other people you love or for whom you take on responsibilities and emotional magnetism, you are responsible and answerable for you. Enjoy those who surround, embarrass you, love you, make you laugh, or cry, but remember as complicated as Life is keep a simple commandment in mind: you are responsible for you.

  2. Wonderful message, Mom! Some people feel the rain, others just get wet…Edgar you have a beautiful soul – Dance little man, dance with all your heart – XO!

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