Monday, March 15, 2010

Boogie Night

Besides growing up as the oldest girl in my family, I used to babysit for a long list of families for years, and even worked for an agency when I first moved to Colorado all those years ago. When I am around kids, I kind of fall into a natural troop-leader role without thinking about it too much.

Friday night, my daughter’s elementary school had a fundraiser event called the Black & White Boogie. She and her other kindergarten friends were excited, and planning their outfits was a BIG DEAL. There was to be pizza and soda for sale for dinner, and discounts were offered for advance tickets. Friday night she dressed in her black velvet dress, complemented with costume pearls, white tights, and black Mary Janes.

I’ve got black in my wardrobe in abundance, thank goodness. We drove over to the school – a quick five minute car ride – and walked into the lobby where they had set up a “Will Call” booth. One of M’s classmates was in line right in front of us. It was a good start.

The gymnasium’s stage had been exposed to accommodate a DJ, and the lights had been dimmed, a disco ball and colored beams of light created a pretty decent party atmosphere. The music was late 70s / early 80s stuff – right up my alley – except when they broke out the Electric Slide and similar “group dance” songs, and I stood back to watch in amazement as the entire floor was filled with rows of synchronized children dancing. It was quite a sight. The DJ had made a sincere plea to the kids to not race around and to enjoy themselves in a responsible manner. There were a lot of parents there, but I saw that most of them had a kind of deer in the headlights look about them. Probably flashing back on their own school dance memories. I followed my daughter around at a distance, saw that some of the running kids were knocking down the littler ones, and so now and then I stepped in their path and did my Stern Mom impression and slowed them down a little. I also amused myself by dancing and chatting with the adults as I roamed, and was having a pretty good time.

M was a little overwhelmed by the noise level and the crowd, so about halfway through the two-hour dance we made our way to the cafeteria to claim our 2 slices of lukewarm cheese pizza and tepid diet pepsi. The picnic-style tables were filled with tired looking parents and animated children. The noise level from all the chatter rivaled the dance floor. I love to people watch, and so I entertained myself observing the crowd. I was interested to see how many parents had put little effort into their attire, since “black and white” seemed pretty do-able to me, and noticed the kids who had obviously tried hard to “dress up” with no help from their families. My heart always goes out to those kids. I want to scoop them all up and take them shopping.

On our way back to the gym, M dashed ahead of me as I got stuck behind slower moving traffic. Off to my right, by the drinking fountain, a tussle broke out between a couple of boys. The milling crowd seemed uncertain what to do. I looked over at them and in my best Babysitter Voice, said “uh uh, uh uh, uh uh” and shook my head. Being maybe all of eight or nine, and it not being a serious fight – yet – they broke apart and their audience dispersed. As one of the diminutive combatants passed me in the hall, he looked up at me and in a curious tone said “Who are you?”
I gave him my wolfish raised eyebrow smile and replied “Taller than you, that’s who I am.” He laughed in understanding, and I liked him. I followed the crowd back into the gym.

My daughter danced and hopped around for another hour, until suddenly she turned to me and said “I want to go home.” Poor thing had just petered out. And she sighed the lament of generations of girls at the end of a dance: “my feet hurt!” She had had a great time at her first school dance, and happily we went home.


  1. Awwww! She is beautiful in her little dress and shoes! Sounds like a fabulous evening, all-around!


  2. Elliott: back at ya!

    Bev: She picked them out herself... it was a great night.

    Frank: Thanks, my friend.

  3. Sounds like a WONDERFUL time! M looked so beautiful:)

  4. Awwwwww....Total warm fuzzies! Sounds like a perfect night! And that M is a cutie!

  5. Sounds like a lot of fun. Good for you, helping keep order there. M is cute as a button and she looks great in her outfit. This post made me smile. :)

  6. OBMJ: I think so, too. ;)

    Mala: I think so, too. ;)

    Daisy: Thanks. I think I struck the right balance, but I wonder when it is only me and the principal reining in the hooligans! Glad I made you smile.