When I dropped Janelle, her brother and her friends off at school this morning she had a big smile on her face. I'm sure the gently falling snow that she was catching on her tongue had something to do with it, but that wasn't the whole story. The main source of her excitement today is the first dance of the school year, being held for the grades K-3 classes this afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where we come from, dances don't start until middle school. And when I was growing up, even those were discouraged by responsible adults. I think I only went to one dance in Junior High, and maybe three in high school. Dances were a pretty taboo activity for good girls like me, and knowing some of the things that went on at those dances, it might have been for good reason. But as a parent of kids of the 21st century, I feel like I need to really consider my attitude toward school dances and my kids' attendance at them.
Maybe dances aren't such a big deal. I went to sock hops in Junior High at lunch hour every Friday, and I loved them! I was a good kid, and I wouldn't have been involved in any "taboo" activity no matter where I was. And my kids are really good kids, too. I'm not volunteering at the dance today, but I plan to be a pretty regular presence at any and all of the activities that my kids want to be involved in. And this is one activity that Janelle really wants to be involved in! Last year we were only here for one school dance, and I was really quite surprised when Janelle said she wanted to go. I don't know why I was surprised, though. That is just so "Janelle". When I arrived to pick her up, she was happy as could be, singing and dancing with her friends, and eating a bag of Cheesies. It could not have been more innocent fun, and maybe it is a bit of a utopian ideal, but I think that if a school dance can be an innocent affair in Grade 2, it can be in Grade 12. It's really all about how involved we are with our kids, isn't it?
So this afternoon Janelle will be going to her second school dance, from 3:30 to 5:00. The dance for the Grade 4 to 6 kids is from 5:00 to 7:00, and Connor hasn't decided whether or not he is going to go. Last year he decided to go at the last minute, and he had a great time. I'm pretty sure he'll be going this time, too, when he finds out how many of his friends will be there. He'll go, but if he's planning to actually dance, I might have to sneak in with a camera!