The school dance
Friday was the big night out for my son â€” his school dance.
This was my son’s second dance, coming on the heels of last year’s fourth grade gala. The fifth-grade version wasn’t much different, except that I have learned to be less intrusive. That is to say, the first time around my ex and I were both there, and she kept prodding him to go and pick a girl to dance with. Not sure what we were thinking, because I wasn’t exactly love-struck at his age.
This time around I was on my own, so I backed off and let him do his thing. I noticed that I was one of the few solo parents there, and actually felt like something of an outcast being a single parent. That’s something that rarely happens with me, so it was an odd sensation. One of the other parents â€” who I actually went to school with years and years ago â€” spent a bit of time telling me about his storybook marriage and the splitting of parenting duties he and his wife are able to do: His wife took their son to a Boy Scout event the same night, so he escorted his daughter to the dance. I didn’t take offense, but I wondered why he felt it necessary.
Either way, I did my own thing, and watched from the wings with great amusement. My son, to his credit, stood in the crowd and danced his butt off pretty muchÂ all night. At that age, they’re not necessarily looking for girls to dance with. The girls themselves nearly all dance â€” again on their own or with other girls. There’s just a real gender divide at this age.
Looking around that room, I wondered when that will start to change. He had his first kiss in kindergarten, and was quite popular with two girls in first grade. By second, he showed less interest, to the degree that now he couldn’t care less if a girl showed interest. So when does that change? I’m sure by high school it’ll be THE issue, over what girl or other he likes or likes him.
In the meantime, I’m good with standing in the wings and watching him do his own thing. As for being one of the few solo parents in the crowd, I’m good with that too. My boy seems okay with it.