Sunday, June 17, 2018

Out on the Dance Floor

Party with preschoolers in the morning, recover with ibuprofen in the afternoon. A day well spent.

Something I have noticed since beginning these dance parties at the Chrysalis is the composition of those in attendance. Moms with kids are probably the majority, and there have been a smattering of grandmas, but I have been surprised at the number of dads. The service dog was the icing on the cake.

Why shouldn’t dads be there, you ask. Why, indeed? And yet, when I was little, they wouldn’t have been. Attending and participating in an event targeted for young children wouldn’t have been within their scope of involvement. Things like this probably would have been held during the week for (stay at home) moms and so dads would have been at work.

My own dad admitted years later that he never really knew what to do with his three daughters during their younger years. I got to know him best when I was in college and he was in the last years of his life due to COPD/emphysema. I don’t have any firm memories of him from my “preschool” years.

That is why it brings me such joy to see all these dads singing and dancing with their kids. They laugh, they improvise new games with the hands on materials, they proudly take photos and video as their children are enjoying themselves.

These dads don’t necessary deserve a prize for doing what mothers have been doing forever. But they’re getting a prize nonetheless. They’re getting the joy of being a part of a crucial time in their children’s lives. They’re getting the reward of being a part of the social/emotional growth that will be the foundation of everything their child becomes. They are feeling the joy of being truly present.

Now, there are still a few dads standing at the edges of the stage, drinking coffee and chatting with other dads while the moms are “doing the mom thing.” They don’t quite know what to do with themselves. They haven’t quite figured out how they fit in. I’m still glad they came and I hope that next time they’ll step out of their comfort zones and shake a leg with the rest of us.

Happy Father’s Day.

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