“No, I-I-I-I-I-I-I don’t want to fall in love…,” the rest of the chorus was drowned out by the din the children were making at our table. It was just as well. I never liked that song. The twenty-something waitresses rolled their eyes. Either Chris Isaak disgusted them or our game of Chase-the-Three-Year-Old-Around-the-Patio was too much to take on a Monday. On the lunch shift.

“Put on somethin’ good!” shouted our unnaturally red-haired waitress to her friend at the stereo. “Heah’s ya beeahs,” she said to us, depositing pints of Sam Adams and plastic tumblers of milk on the cardboard coasters-cum-frisbees. (We were on vacation and anyway, it was noon somewhere!) Thirty seconds later, Henry was seated and singing gustily: “Don’t think too much just bust that stick/ I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.”

My husband and I drank deeply.mj-toes2

The song about stiff sticks segued, inexplicably, to “Billie Jean.” Thrilled with the Gloved One’s genius, Henry leaped from his chair. We watched him bounce, flail and shake with self-abandonment. Surprisingly, we were rewarded for our indulgent parenting. (That’s my code for laziness.) At the end of his spontaneous performance, Henry executed a perfect one-footed spin a la the King of Pop. The kid has moves.

If only he had them from me.

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