“We’re in Paris, people,” Valerie said. “Let’s go dancing!”

“Yeah!” I agreed – as I checked the watch I wasn’t wearing and then casually pretended I was just inspecting a freckle. Obviously, we’d been at this particular wine bar for a while now.

Barrett shook his head.

“You know dancing, Barrett,” Valerie said. “Where you move your arms and legs and shake your butt a little?”

“He won’t understand if you put it that way, Val,” I replied. “Let me try.”

I turned to Barrett. “You know dancing, Barrett. Where you lift your arms and flail them about like some ill bird in flight after a window collision?”

Barrett smiled. “I invented dancing,” Barrett said. “I just don’t like to dance to a techno version of Pump Up The Jam for hours on end.”

Barrett nudged our friend Fred. “Fred does though.”

Fred, who despite being the most successful 30-something of us all, looked as though he walked off a college campus.

“Aren’t we’re supposed to be at the airport at 7 a.m.?” Fred asked. “It’s already midnight. No way I’m making that flight if I Pump Up the Jam.”

So the girls took on Paris, its deafening techno version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, the seizure-inducing strobe lights, and the sweaty, jostling tide of well-heeled humanity.

It was only as Barrett drug me onto the plane that I wished our dancing adventure had ended earlier. As it stood, we were walking in our rooms when the wake-up call rang.

“Thank goodness we splurged for the upgrade,” I moaned. “A glass of tomato juice and Tabasco, please?”

The flight attendant shot me a curious look. “What’s wrong?” I asked Barrett. “Why did she look at me like that? Is it because I asked for Tabasco?”

“No, it’s because your crazy is showing,” Barrett replied with a smile. “You do realize you’re still wearing your pajamas, right?”

I paused, looked down at my Bon Jovi themed pajamas, and considered my response.

“We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got, Barrett. …Will you hand me that eye mask? It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. …And that pillow. We’ve got each other and that’s a lot. For love. Let’s give it a shot. …Maybe that airsickness bag too.”

Seven years and four kids later, Valerie and I are still Livin’ on a Prayer – except now in the literal sense. We say prayers for protection for our children. Prayers for those we love. Prayers for an authentic life. Prayers for forgiveness when we snap (which is almost never). Prayers that we will leave this world a better place. And prayers of gratitude for all our blessings.

Amen. Namaste. Let it Rock!

Amy and Val Namaste