Tonight was the kids' school Family Dance. It was a Hawaii theme...forcing us to raid the local dollar store, just like every other family in a 2km radius. Rafia skirts abounded. As did Hawaiian print shirts, flowered leis and embarassed parent facial expressions.
The hilarious part was that the parents mostly sat around the perimetre of the gym, watching their children dance in the middle. There were so many complex social dynamics at work that is was dizzying to behold. Conga lines formed and disbanded with the blink of an eye. Many boys made valient attempts at free-form break dancing. Many boys failed. Many girls attempted to reinact music video moves. Many of these girls also failed, making this mother grateful that no music videos have been watched in THIS house. Yet. Seven year olds gyrating their hips is an uncomfortable things to observe.
The music went between Justin Beiber and the Village People. Eric and I taught Finny, Molly and her best friend how to dance to YMCA. It was great watching the penny drop when they realized they were making letters with their arms. They'll be doing that dance at weddings in their 80s, but they learned it tonight.
Here's a perfect shot of the parents:
There was much laughter. In hindsight, I should have instituted a "no photographing while dancing" rule. I didn't. You can see by my face that I am trying to hint at the new rule with my face.
In the end, the gym had the same hot-air feeling that I remember from my own school dances. The air is moist because it has been in twenty other people's lungs in the last hour. It felt sort of the same and sort of completely different. Those kids are way closer to slow dancing to Stairway to Heaven than I am. On the one hand, I can feel incredibly lucky that I am dancing with the same guy I slow danced with at 16. On the other hand, I feel startled at the passage of time. It isn't my school...it's my KIDS' school. Are you kidding me?
Eric escaped for half an hour with Lukey, Molly and her buddy. They're still small. They wanted fresh air and a ride on the swings. But it won't be long before that hot gym holds a far greater attraction than a swing at sunset. I remember. I was 16.