If you read last Wednesday's column, you know my 10-year-old daughter had an after school dance to attend.
Let me start by saying, it was really fun. The kids had a great time and the school raised $500 for charity.
Now, let me tell you what an elementary school dance is really about.
It's about friendship and laughter and socializing and throwing yellow balloons in the air. It's about parents who love their kids and sit off to the side to chaperone the festivities...but it's not much about dancing.
I thought Gangnam Style would stop them in their tracks. No. Only a child or two paused to do a few moves.
However, I will say this was a young crowd and later in the evening the Chicken Dance did the job. Everyone lined up for that one and if you check our website, you'll find some photos of students performing the chicken moves.
More specifically, allow me to share about my daughter.
Her date didn't show, but it didn't seem to faze her. She had other friends to hang out with. Who could tell if anyone had a date anyway? Kids were all over the place.
She ran around with her yellow balloon rubbing it on her head and sticking it to the back of other kids. She wore her beautiful red dress. The attire for the evening ranged from school clothes to formal dresses, to a tiny little man wearing a tie. He was about two years old, I think.
I watched her and photographed her from a distance most of the two hours we were there. I'm going to make a photo album for her, but shhh don't tell her.
It was a wonderful thing the school did for the children. Everyone was expecting kids to be kids and let them have their night. It was an evening of watching for your child to go running by or spotting them in the crowd.
The music played, food was served, photos were taken, and yes, children danced.
It was also a wonderful thing they did for my daughter. The excitement for her leading up to that night was immeasurable. In a world filled with tragedies and bad news it was a delight to watch this unfold in her 10-year-old eyes. It was a big, big deal let me tell you. Just the speculation about the dress, then searching for it, hearing her say, "This is the one", and then the repeated try-on to show grandma and daddy how beautiful she is... The night of the dance, there was uncertainty if the dress was too fancy. I offered to bring a second dress in our car so she could change if she needed to, but "no"...she told me with great resolve. "I'm wearing this one mom."
Then there was her date who apparently didn't tell his parents he was supposed to go to a dance and wear a tux and bring a corsage...who did not show up.
And then, we have the Skittles. In lieu of a boutonnière, she chose candy because he said that was what he likes. The Skittles and Hershey's Kisses have since been devoured by daughter—and mother.
The preparations for this dance brought me, as a parent, a great deal of joy. She will probably never forget this first dance, despite all the dances to come in the future.
I know I never will.