So there is this article that has been floating around social media lately about a group of Moms and Dads who joined their kids at dance class. Siblings joined in the fun, too.
What’s interesting about, not only this article, but some of the comments that come about with the sharing, is how critical those comments are. Even the author of the article gets in a barb or two: “Bet these young ladies didn’t think Mom had it in her. But she showed them! Think your parents could pull this off?”
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I think my parents could pull it off. Actually, I know they could – because I saw them do it. How do you think I learned how to dance?
I’ve seen some comments (mainly from the “parent-and-older” generation) that are critical of the kids: “They’re just doing the moves, but the parents are better dancers.”
Here’s the thing, though – they’re all wonderful! With very few exceptions, both the kids and the parents are in it! They’re doing the choreography. They’re feeling the music. They’re having fun. They’re laughing. The other families surrounding them in the crowd are encouraging and in the moment. It’s smiles all around!
And those kids are leaping into their parents arms for hugs at the end of their dances.
Take a look at the video.
What’s important here isn’t “Oh, wow! Those parents can really dance! Who knew?”
What’s important is that these parents are spending time with their kids. They are sharing in something their kids love. (And, by the looks of things, they certainly love it, too!) And their kids are welcoming them into this activity. You know this choreography took some time. Parents and kids had to do some rehearsing. Which means, this was more than just “a day at the dance studio.”
This video goes beyond the talent of the participants. It goes beyond the “amazement” that parents are people and can groove.
This video represents what can manifest from love and commitment and togetherness.
I’m not a parent. I do know a lot of people who have kids. It’s so obvious when a parent engages in their kid’s life. When they take the time to really know who that child is – as a person. Those kids tend to embrace their parents’ place in their lives, and make an effort to keep including their parents in their activities. I taught quite a few of them, too. I could tell the difference between my students with involved parents versus those without involved parents.
I was the child of a very involved mother, who got to know my friends and my teachers, who volunteered to chaperone for some field trips when she could, who came to every softball game possible (supporting me and my teammates), who spent time with me laughing and teaching and crying and talking. A mother that I miss more than I can possibly put into words. Someone I still talk to every day.
I was also the child of a distant father, who was away for months at a time while in the Navy (but wouldn’t write to me while he was away), who criticized me when I swung at a pitch and missed (but wouldn’t coach me to help me improve), who was too involved in his own social activities to be at all interested in my friends or activities, who spent time with me only when he needed something from me (I was better at math). A father that I haven’t spoken to in 5 years – when I had to point out that “those kids running around” were his grandchildren. Someone who, quite frankly, rarely crosses my mind – except on his birthday.
Believe me. My mother would have been front-and-center with me in a video like this – dancing until she dropped. I know this, because we’ve done this. If I had been raised by my father instead of my mother, being in a dance class, let alone a video like this, wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. And it’s doubtful if I’d be alive today.
So, take another look at that video. Look past the choreography. Don’t think about who the better dancers are. Pay attention to the fun and love and spirit that these people evoke.
That’s the take away here.