I was on the dance floor. I guess I could have been sitting on the sidelines because I'm not 21 and thin. But I wasn't. I was on the dance floor. All night. Dancing with kids, with my husband, with my son, with my daughters, with random people, with groups of people, alone, line dancing... you know, all the different things that happen on a dance floor at a wedding when the band is great and they never take a break. And you're with the people you love. Or around people you probably would love if you talked to them. And life is good.
And a woman a little older than me (but not much older) came over and said, "Don't do that awkward mom thing." Or "Don't be that awkward mom." Or some such encouraging remark. I've repressed the exact words though the spirit of it has stuck with me longer than I'd like to admit.
What are the appropriate responses to that?
"Oh, ok, I'll go sit down. Sorry if I humiliated our generation."
"Thank you for letting me know I move awkwardly (you're in fact right)."
"At least I'm on the dance floor. I haven't noticed you out here."
Tempted to feel shame, I think I gave her a big, God-empowered smile (I didn't have one of my own to spare) and danced off in the other direction... to a hidden spot in the very middle.
But I keep thinking about her. I wonder what's in it for us ("us" because I probably do the same thing sometimes and don't realize it) when we need to tell someone they look foolish or tell someone anything that shames, shuts them down, smooshes their spirit, or hampers them.
I would have spun off the planet with joy if she had said, "Look at you, go!" Perhaps even if she'd needed to add, "It's amazing that at your age you can still dance for three hours."