Today was Ladybug's first dance. These moments kind of sneak up on a mother. She thought she was going to "a play, some type of field trip", but I read the transportation form and knew that she was going to a sister school for a Valentine's party and dance.
My stomach hurt in anticipation. What would happen to my darling girl? I have watched at Achievement Days as she completely gets pushed aside to the point of invisibility by the unknowing energetic girls her age. Would she get lost in the crowd? Would she sit alone?
Refusing to place my issues on her, I simply asked how she would like her hair. She wanted to look pretty and had a specific look in mind. Well, that I could do. I could at least ensure that she left our home feeling beautiful.
I reluctantly drove to pick her up in the afternoon, hesitant to hear how the day went when I was so powerless to change any of it. I was the last car in the line. I saw my daughter, as beautiful as she left, smiling up at me. "How was your day honey?" As usual, no answer was forthcoming. I have learned to wait. As we drove down the road strains of "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da" reached me from the back seat. When, "My oh my what a wonderful day," was repeated, I knew we had a winner. "Oh tell me about it honey!"
"Well, I danced today. A girl taught us the coolest dance ever. It's like what dads and moms do when they're in love. I guess it was kind of gross."
"AAAAHHHH!" I thought. "What are they teaching my tiny fifth grader, the bear hug?" I remained silent and forced a smile through my voice. "Go on honey."
"I danced with three different boys. I didn't know any of them. I liked one of them. He had black hair and his clothes were black and white. We talked."
Well, that was it for the drive, though for Ladybug that was an enormous amount of information. When we arrived home, she grabbed both my hands and taught me to Left, Right, Back step. I guess this was the frightful thing that Moms and Dads do when they love each other.
Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da continued to float through my house for the rest of the evening. On several levels I am so glad I kept my mouth shut and just listened.
I am back to sixth grade, my first dance, where a few high school girls came and taught our class to left together right together, clap and turn. I wore my favorite pair of red pants that my mom sewed in the night before so they fit around my narrow waist and a plaid shirt. I felt attractive and up for the new and strange sensation of sweaty boy palms, clasping mine too tight. At the end of the hour in the gym. I felt victorious, ready for anything. That hour changed me. I felt on the brink of something new, not yet understandable or known.
Well, here we are. May she and I enjoy this marvelous adventure.