Some wonderful moms in my town decided to create a Mother/Son Dance Event. There are a lot of Daddy/Daughter Dances, but never any for moms and their sons. Those of us with only boys really appreciated this opportunity.
I jumped on board immediately when the tickets went on sale. I didn’t even ask Brian if he wanted to go with me, because I just knew it was something we had to do. I didn’t know how it would go, but I sure wanted to try.
I got the tickets and sent them to him in the mail with an invitation. At first he thought it was silly that I mailed something to him! But, then he decided it was something special, although he was obviously a little anxious about the unknown — I was too!
I planned to wear the dress Brian bought for me last year for Mother’s Day and the necklace he bought for me years ago. I don’t think the dress is super fashionable, but I didn’t care, because the only person I had to impress was my 6-year old son.
When the night came, we got all dressed up, and off we went. When we arrived, we felt a bit like wall flowers at a middle school dance. Almost all the boys who were there already were running around playing tag or sliding on the floor, not dancing. And the moms of those boys just stood, watching and talking, wondering if it was ever going to be a DANCE or if it would just be recess the whole time? I couldn’t help but wonder, “Maybe this is why people don’t organize Mother/Son dances!”
Brian and I decided to eat. We were excited about the food options and were probably the first people to venture over to the buffet. Sitting, eating and watching was a great way to get our bearings. Once we’d eaten, I thought we ought to dance. No one else was dancing, but there were a lot of boys on the floor still hitting each other and playing tag. At first, I think we probably both felt silly, being the only ones that were dancing. But, it didn’t take us long to really get our groove on, and the rest of the world just disappeared — just me and my little boy “dancing as if no one was watching!”
Everyone was watching. I knew it. The amazing thing about it was that I just didn’t care! I was not there to impress the women who were judging my dress or my hair or my weight or my dancing. I was there to dance with my son. I can’t explain how incredibly freeing that was for me. For one brief night, I was 6-years old again and I was oblivious to the nonsensical judgement that we moms put on each other.
In just a few minutes of dancing, more and more moms gained confidence and joined us on the floor. Soon it was nearly everyone! As the night went on there were prizes, contests and a dance teacher to help us with our moves! Near the end, the dance teacher kind of brought all the boys out into a circle and had them dance. I was honestly sad that my time with my son had ended.
While he was dancing with his friends (which I was happy that he got the nerve to go out there with the other boys), I ended up talking with a couple of moms. But, I kind of wish I hadn’t. I wish I had just stood back and enjoyed watching my son. In those 2 minutes that I was with the other moms, I felt the judgement. It bothered me and I quickly moved away. The dance was over.
Those 2 hours were possibly the best 2 hours I have ever had with my oldest son. I know there will be many more great days, but that one really shines above the others because of the pure joy we both felt in our little dancing bubble.
Many many many people/teachers/experts say that HANDS-ON learning is the best kind of learning for a child, or anyone for that matter. There’s even a really famous quote about it:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”~ Ben Franklin
So, naturally I had every intention of using hands-on learning at every opportunity possible in our homeschool environment. And, we’ve done lots: floating tea bags, electrical circuits, homemade headlamps, baking, cooking dinner, volcanoes and more! But, even with all that, I have finally accepted something, that’s actually kind of awesome.
We have always known of his love of reading. But, I have become very aware of just HOW MUCH he learns from books. Today he did a presentation on MARS. It was fantastic. The kid knows way more than I have ever known and probably will ever know about Mars. He read every book he could get his hands on and he told us about all kinds of stuff that I didn’t even know he knew! (Video coming on Friday!)
Anyway, he’s done this forever, but I think I am finally accepting, acknowledging and allowing myself to be OK with the idea that he learns best by reading, and if I give him opportunities to get his hands dirty, it will only help, but it isn’t as NECESSARY for him as the experts would make us all believe.
Too many friends moving away… Sometimes I think we should move away, so we can find a place where people don’t move away.
Right now, I can hear my boys playing in our driveway. They have boundaries. They know they can’t venture far, but they are out there playing together, without me. I know there are a lot of people these days who don’t think it’s appropriate for kids to play unsupervised, but I completely disagree, under the right circumstances.
My kids almost never fight when I am not in the picture, and they aren’t battling for my attention.
Here is what I heard just now:
“I’m going to ask momma.” (This almost always signals a disagreement, right?)
He comes in and asks the correct pronunciation of the word volleyball.
Upon hearing the answer, he goes back out and says, “You were right Brian. I was wrong.”
How awesome is that?