Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lighten Up

Being a parent has its challenges, but I also think that it's changed me for the better in several ways. The biggest one? I have gradually stopped taking myself so seriously. Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as a pretty serious person. I have been frowning so intensely for so long it would take more than Botox to erase the lines between my eyebrows (not that I want would be entirely pointless!)

When I was a kid I was painfully self-conscious. I remember plenty of scenes with either family or friends where the group of kids would decide to put on some kind of performance. On rare occasions I'd be into it and participate freely, but more often it was just too embarrassing for me. I hate to be the center of attention and I was just too acutely aware of people watching me. My dad, especially, would really try to coax me to get into the spirit, and I appreciate now that he just wanted to see me having fun. But as he would tell you, my heels...they were made for digging in.

Anyway, I wouldn't say that I necessarily love the limelight at this point, but putting a smile on my kids' faces trumps nearly any level of personal humiliation. I'm not a particularly gifted dancer but when we have afternoon dance parties to shake off the post-nap crabbies, I pull out all the stops and shake my booty with authority! And I'm rewarded with giggles and pleas for more.

Any type of public dancing, performing, getting up on stage, volunteering, etc was absolutely a NO GO when I was a kid. I'd rather have died than get up a dance with a DJ at a fall festival, but you know what? The kids' school held a festival the other week and had a kids' dance company there playing music and encouraging them to dance. Brighton was a little lukewarm about it, but Pacey and I got out there and danced like fools. Literally nothing else mattered to me but the look of complete joy on his face.

I know I don't have all the answers, or even most of them. I'm not a perfect mom. I yell on occasion and my patience has a limit and sometimes? I just don't feel like drawing/playing/doing whatever it is She Who Must Be Obeyed requests commands. But darn it, I can be silly and we have fun.

Clearly I put on my helmet when I take the Toy Story bike out for longer rides


Lisa said...

I can relate on so many levels - from the permanent lines between my eyebrows, to the painful self-consciousness I've always carried around. But kids have a way of bringing out the goofball in us, don't they? One of my favorite things? When I'm in my truck with the kids and they're bickering and crabbing, I turn up the radio and sing and drive-dance my heart out, and before I know it, the kids are cracking up :)

Aislinn said...

I LOVE the last picture and caption. I hope you don't mind - I was so excited by this post that I went ahead and arranged to borrow Pam and Steve's fireplace on Saturday for a double-header of "Straight Up" and "Shoop"!!!!