We spent Thursday evening in Santa Barbara as family at our friend’s, Casson and Anna, art gallery opening. http://galleryocho.com/ (There are some pictures.) Nathanael and Noah had fun time looking at the art in the gallery, eating chocolates, running around the fountain in the courtyard (which Noah fell into to…brrr.), eating chocolates, chasing other kids, and eating chocolates. After the opening, we decided to have dinner with friends at Chef Karim’s, a Moroccan restaurant. For those of you who have never experienced eating at a Moroccan restaurant there are usually a few key differences. They typically wash your hands at the table. You often sit on the floor or on cushions or benches around a low table. You eat with your hands. And there is usually….a belly dancer. Which brings me to the point of this post. We had just finished our appetizers when the belly dancer came out to entertain us whirling and snaking around the room with her scarves and finger cymbals. A happy and playful dancer, probably about 50, she kept asking Nathanael and Noah to dance with her. Each time the looked wide eyed and shook their heads no as if asking them if they wanted to kiss a cobra. Across the room a large party of about 20-30 decided to liven up the restaurant and got up to dance with the belly dancer. At which point the host came over and asked me to join them on the floor. I reluctantly got up and after a moment motioned for my crew to join me. Brent got up to get his groove on and, as most of you know, Noah was then only a step behind. Noah ran up and began to dance and smile with so much joy that people who were having fun started having even more fun watching him. That’s when Nathanael couldn’t take it anymore. Nathanael, a usually shy child in public places, marched onto the dance floor and started doing a Moroccan version of the Can-Can. (He had just learned the Can-Can in music class that day and earlier that afternoon he had been busy teaching Noah the kicks.) The belly dancer was so impressed with his moves that she grabbed his hands and led him into the center of the circle of people. Always the artist, he danced his Moroccan Can-Can with the seriousness of a first chair violinist in an orchestra. He kicked and shimmied as hard and fast as his little body would go. When the music ended the room broke out in applause and he looked confused trying to decide if he should be proud and smile, or be embarrassed. Of course we told him how wonderful he was and then ate our meal of lamb, rabbit, chicken, and beef which was very tasty and satisfying. But not nearly as satisfying as spending the evening smiling and laughing with people I love and watching our little artist create the Moroccan Can-Can.