Thursday, 24 May 2012

Her First Dance

Gracie was juts week old being held by Gabe.

    How can a little baby have her first big girl dance?  I guess Grace is no longer a little baby, she'll be 11 next week.  It just doesn't seem possible that that little pink bundle I held tightly in my arms is this big pink bundle who is beginning to break free an become independent of me.  I can't believe how quickly time has flown by.  One second she is playing My Little Ponies and the next she is coming home excitedly talking about the school dance.  School Dance, I can't believe that is is already time for her to experience the school dance.
    She came home a couple of weeks ago barely able to suppress the bubbling excitement.  The other grade 5 class had challenged her grade 5 class to a dance off!  Then she rhymed off the different songs that she had requested.  Christopher asked her if she was going to dance with any boys.  She looked shocked, apparently she had not thought about that.  She took a few minutes to process that question and then a huge grin spread across her face.  Grace has discovered boys... heaven help us.
    I went out on the week-end to purchase new clothes for her to wear to the dance.  It was difficult.  I wanted to go casual, but not boring.  I want her to stand out, but not STAND OUT.  Thankfully she was delighted with what I picked out for her.  I also picked her up a lip gloss (as close as she'll be coming to make-up for a few years), and a cute little sample of perfume.  I am so excited for her, intermixed with nervous for her.
   What adult among us can ever forget dances (unless you live in the Footloose town).  That mixture of excitement and anxiety.  The boys and girls all standing on opposite walls, looking terrified.  The girls all dancing together in the middle to the fast songs.  The odd brave boy dancing that famous "boy shuffle"( the boy dance is where said boy stands perfectly straight, with the arms stuck to his sides like a soldier, and the just kind of shuffles his feet back and forth in place).  When the slow songs came on, the girls all cleared to the wall in what might have looked like an explosion and felt extra anxious.  The boys who were standing against the wall would work their way over across what must have seemed like hundreds of miles to the girls wall, in what looked to me a little like a Lemming migration.  As a girl on that wall, I prayed for that cute boy to come and ask me to dance.  When he did not I would try to stifle that cry that desperately wanted to escape from my chest, and try not to look as dejected as I felt.  It was painful.  Then there was that elation when, on occasion that boy did ask me to dance.  That amazing high that comes from pre-teen / teen hormones.  I have never tried heroine, but I suspect that is might give a similar high.
    My recollections got me wondering what it was like for the other side of the wall.  I asked my husband for the boy's perspective.  His is extremely different than mine.  He was one of those boys holding up the wall.  Apparently the boys would stand together ( I always wondered what they were talking about, being neurotic I was sure that they were making fun of me) making fun of the their friends who were brave enough to go and dance the fast dance (I think they were jealous).  When that fast song ended and we timid girls made a mass exodus from the dance floor (like our pants were on fire and the water was on the wall) for fear of looking like an idiot caught there, they were waiting for the brave girls to ask them to dance.  Apparently his self -esteem took a massive hit when the brave girls asked his better looking friends to dance (his perspective, not mine).  He said that he did not feel the least bit nervous when asking a girl to dance, he was not afraid of rejection, because they always said yes.  The nerves took effect afterward.  He was terrified of standing on the girls foot.  A three minute song felt like a three hour song.
   I'm not telling Grace about the nerves or the dread of dances.  I'm not going to taint her "new" experience with my "old" fears.  This is her day.  Good or bad, it is growth.  She will learn from this dance, it will help to shape her into the woman that she will one day become.  More than anything it will be fun.  I'm not ready to watch my little girl grow up, but it is out of my hands, I have to just watch it happen.  I will be there for the moral support and if necessary God forbid, I will be there with those arms to wrap around her and tell her that everything will get better.  They don't tell you any of this in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting".  This is the stuff that you learn as you go.

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