Saturday, February 9, 2013

Do a jig for love

Last night my daughters’ school hosted a Love in the Family Dinner & Dance. Since is the Love Month, I knew this was something I wanted to do with all of my children. I invited my oldest, but as a non-PTA member she chose not to go because of the ticket price. Young parents sometimes I have to make these kind of choices, right? At the last minute my son, who’s 9, decided he didn’t want to do. He was more concerned with whether any older kids would be there so as not to disappointment my girls, ages 5 and 8, I donned my red sweater and jewelry, dressed them in cute little dresses (tunics now that they’re taller!) and off we went to enjoy ourselves.

Even though I didn’t feel up to it, I was excited. The girls were boisterous and their energy rubbed off on me. I had worn low shoes in preparation of doing a little dancing with my princesses. We walk into the cafeteria, which was beautifully decorated, and the dance floor was speckled with children.Sitting at tables to the right were the parents and some of the children who hadn’t made their way to the floor for one reason or another.

I was disappointed by the inactive parents. Didn’t the announcement say family dinner and DANCE? Why on earth weren’t they dancing? This was for family. For the children.

mom and girls at danceI asked the girls if they wanted to eat and they said no. I asked if they wanted to dance and Amareah, the oldest, smiled shyly. I directed them to a table in the back in the hopes to warm them up a bit and saw the photographer set up.

“Do you want to take a picture?”

Their eyes brightened, I paid (only $5) and we took the shot you see here. Now, I’m not thrilled about me in the picture, but I’m not going to complain because the girls were so pleased. Then we all expressed our wish that their other siblings and their niece had been present.

Amareah at danceI directed pushed them to the dance floor and went to stand nearby. I tried capturing pictures, but they kept turning their heads. What you can see is how they stood on the sidelines watching the other children.

My girls can dance. They show off, spin, drop it like it’s hot and every other number of dance moves they can come up with or have seen. Last night, they stood like shy wallflowers.

girls at danceAnna started to bop a little, her little body betraying her desire to get her boogie on. The more her big sister stood around the less she danced. Since I saw she was willing I encouraged her to dance with her little girlfriend who was dancing with such enthusiasm even I couldn’t help laughing and tapping my foot.

Eventually Amareah warmed up with a friend from her class – both of them rather quiet and beautifully dressed. And Anna danced a little with her enthusiastic friend. I danced with Anna and would have loved to spend as much time as I could with her on the dance floor, but – for the love of me – I retreated gracefully.

I ate my dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans and washed it all down with lemonade. The food was “scrape your plate worthy,” the lemonade refreshing. More than worth the few dollars I paid for it.

Before I was finished the girls’ dad, who had already picked up their brother, came to take them for the weekend. I sent them off, but not before I told them we’ll dance again in a few weeks at a masked ball the school announced.

The opportunity to show my children I can have fun, dance with them and spend that time with them is priceless. It’s like dancing a little jig for love. Have you danced lately?

(Note:The principal has not been with us for long at the girls’ school, but she continues to show the children love while helping parents do so as well – all while ruling with a firm hand. Thank you Ms. B and the PTA (love you Ms. L) for hosting such an awesome love event.)