As I write this my biggest baby is attending her 1st school dance. The school hosted a Halloween Dance earlier this year but she was unable to attend because she was too busy riding on a float in the San Francisco Giants World Series Champion parade (good girl!). But unfortunately for me there was no parade today to keep her from her away from this dance...So, here I sit conflicted - with my mama-bear instincts engaged in a heated battle with my brain.
I got an email last week that the school was looking for parent volunteers to chaperon and I got super excited about the possibility of being able to to witness the behavior of my tweener in her natural habitat, but as I was getting ready to reply to that email, the little angel popped on my shoulder and got all up in my ear about how being at the dance would be detrimental to Justice's ability to develop a strong sense of self and identity. I ultimately decided against chaperoning because my desire to have her become more independent and confident outweighs my desire to be all up in her business. Most parents of 12 year olds are scared of their babies growing up and experiencing all of the sex, drugs and rock n' roll that are associated with becoming an adolescent. While, I'll admit that I shudder at the thought of my little girl twerking it on the dance floor, I think what scares me the most is that she will never get to experience the things that keep parents up at night. Let's face it, our mistakes and stupid decisions are what make us interesting, and a person whose never gotten into a little trouble is just plain boring. The ultimate outcome is to raise my children to be healthy, responsible, independent, happy adults and that means having to give them the space to express their little pre-pubescent urges away from the watchful eyes of their parents. Because, keep it real, if I was at that dance tonight and saw my child or any child in a 10ft radius of my child acting foolish, I would break every rule in the "cool-mama" handbook.
Sometimes being the best mama means Backing-The-F-up.
I sure as heck know that some of my fondest memories of my child/teen-hood took place at my middle school dances and while I probably wouldn't approve of my daughter behaving the way I did I can also accept that denying her the opportunity to behave the way I did would be the real danger. Isn't that so evolved of me? I better enjoy this moment of self-riotousness because I can't guarantee I can maintain it for anything more intense than a middle school dance...