On Mondays and Wednesdays, during a third part of the day, I'm a dance mom. I'm new to this gig so I have a hard time writing that sentence, much less admitting to it in public -- like at all the cocktail parties and networking events I attend.
Please know, I love a good dance mom. The intensity about pirouettes and who will be the lead dancer are fascinating dramatics to me. The faces pressed to the glass window overlooking the dance studio during warm up instead of witnessing the arrival of J Lo also impresses me. The comings and goings of dancers heading into class or leaving for the day -- because yes, many of them take multiple classes a day with titles such as 'flips and chips' as well as 'dips and hips'. Of course, these aren't the real names but that is what I hear from the dancers -- scratch that, the moms.
I won't be part of that crowd. I already have friends. I'm too old to reach out and try to bond with these moms on some deeper level than wait, I need a bag for dance stuff. My purse or one of my girls' tote bags doesn't work apparently.
But they are an interesting crew. I do have a couple of friends who are very involved in this studio. We know some of the people in charge and many of the instructors. All darling people. All caring, sweet ladies. So from where does the intensity of a dance mom come?
Is it how I felt when Chris wasn't getting the right amount of playing time because I knew he was the best receiver and could catch the ball no problem? Is it what I thought when Chris wasn't picked for the A basketball team in seventh or eight grade?
Oh, yeah, it has to do with humility. I've got it with dance because I don't know anything about anything. Watch out, I'm boasting so that's not good . . .boasting about my humility, that's a path to travel down.
I don't have it when it comes to Chris and his football. I pray earnestly for humility. Sometimes I have one eye open when I pray so that I can see God answer my other prayer of 'please Jesus pass the ball to him.' By the way, his quarterback is not named Jesus, but I figure Jesus could direct the QB's arm, right?
The dance moms are probably simply very proud of their children and their efforts on the dance floor or at the barre. They want them to be successful and hope that they do their best and that the instructor sees the best -- which is their child, right? I get it, but I've done that. Not be a dance mom, but be proud of my child for effort and for success.
When we pack up after Monday ballet and Wednesday tap, decide on Pizza Hut buffet or sandwiches at home, I tell my girls they did so well and I was so proud to see them follow directions. I also ask them about having fun -- that's something I rarely did with Chris back when he started in sports. I was more interested in how many passes he caught.
Now in this fourth part of the day, after dinner, after dance gear is put away and the girls are off to sleep with plies in their dreams, I can remind myself that being a dance mom will be another journey for me. I may not buy brand new shoes and leotards for the girls -- thank goodness for friends with those that I can 'borrow' -- but I can pay attention and be proud. I can press my face against the studio viewing window every once in a while and let them know I see them. I can help them get their gear together on the evenings before dance class and be excited about the sparkly tutus (oh my).
I can tap, tap, tap along to this dance mom beat without getting too wrapped up in it -- I mean, really, I would definitely be the solo, front and center dancer, right?!?