Friday, February 10, 2006
Oh. My. God.

I just took Emily to her first ever school dance. What? School dance? Isn't she, like, 5??

Yes. She's JUST like 5. And her school had a Valentine's Day social. Far be it from me to be the mom who permanently ruins Emily's chance to be cool by not letting her go to the very first dance. At least she's still little enough for it to be cool for me to go, too.

I was really surprised at how choked up and emotional I got about it all. I loved school dances, almost as much as I hated them. All those hormones, not quite fully erupted uyet but simmering just below the surface. All of the angst, the insecurities. Trying to dance just like the girl next to me and yet still maintain some inkling of individuality, knowing that I moved like the Grape Ape only whiter and yet still, in my heart of hearts, hoping that Dick Clark and his American Bandstand would suddenly pop up around me and award me the title of Dancer of the Century.... it all came flooding back.

Emily had never been to anything remotely resembling a dance before, not a wedding reception or even a super-funky elevator. She really had no idea how to move that little body. So, clearly, it was my duty as a mother to look dumber than her, and dance alongside. I did the "Chicken Dance." I did the "Macarena" with said 5-year-old on my hip. I did the "Electric Slide," nearly all by myself because who else remembers how to do it now, 10 years after it could even pretend to be cool, again with her on my hip. I looked like an idiot. And I loved every second of it.

So, if you happened to be in a little elementary school in a small town in New Hampshire tonight, and you saw a somewhat overweight and extraordinarily white woman groovin' with her daughter and blubbering like a baby to "Cotton Eye Joe"... yeah, that was me.