Time for me to eat my words.
You see, I have always worn the fact that I am a “boys-only” mom as a sort of badge of honor. “I wasn’t meant to have girls. I’m not a girly-girl mom.” I don’t mind dirt, and I can get used to the boogers and burps. I have built up a healthy immunity to potty jokes.
I’ve been especially smug when it comes to my middle sister, who is the mom of 2 girls. As I’ve watched her hand over check after check for dance lessons, shoes, attire, recital fees, and costumes (oh. the costumes!), I’ve secretly chuckled to myself. “I’m glad that’s not me! That’s why I have boys!”
As I’ve listened to the woes of extremely-thick-hair-that-will-in-no-way-stay-in-a-bun, I’ve thought of my boys and their short cuts that most days don’t even require combing (They may actually REQUIRE combing but just don’t GET combed.). “Whew!” I’ve thought. “I sure dodged a bullet there!”
Then it happened. All innocent-like, my sister mentioned last summer, “Hey, our dance studio is offering a boys-only class this fall. AND all boys’ lessons are half-price!” Ooh, that half-price offer touched a place in my heart. And poor Boy #2 wasn’t signed up for any activities, unlike his older brother. The bait was set, the line was cast—and I bit.
All season I did enjoy watching the four boys, ages 5 to 7, learn their hip-hop moves and figure out how to do a shuffle-ball-change in their cute little tap shoes. But I still considered myself apart from the other moms who brought their little girls every week, donning only the “approved” leotards and slippers.
Yeah, that is, until last weekend. Our first recital. And my transformation from mom-who-just-brings-her-boy-to-lessons-every-Thursday-at-3:45 to OFFICIAL DANCE MOM.
I offered to help backstage with the boys since there were only 4 in the class and one of the moms is also the teacher and owner of the studio. This meant I not only got to watch the show, I also got to be a part of all the backstage excitement. The prop checks. The quick changes. The air seemed to be filled with electricity! And watching the older students dance made me think that Dancing with the Stars had nothing on the 2008 Ankeny Dance Recital. I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better—until the boys finally paraded onto the stage. OH. MY. GOSH. No matter that they couldn’t quite remember ALL their moves. No matter that they had to sometimes watch their teachers who were secretly dancing with them on the sides of the stage. No matter that my kid’s shoe was untied. They were so stinkin’ cute hip-hopping to “The Gingerbread Man” and showing off their tapping skills to “Sharp Dressed Man.” They were the hit of the show and had young girl and mom alike hooting and cheering like Justin Timberlake himself was on the stage. Honestly, I think the boys could’ve just walked onto the stage, crossed their arms, and walked off and they still would’ve been dubbed the favorite. There’s just something about little boys in tap shoes.
So even though I told Boy #2, “It’s up to you whether you go out for dance again next year,” I did a secret fist-pump when he told me to sign him up. And I would have to say that the fact that boys pay half-price for classes in our studio, along with the fact that we don’t have to purchase elaborate costumes or worry about hair or makeup makes me think that having a boy dancer is the way to go.
However, seeing those 3-year-old girls parade onto the stage with their hair in ringlets wearing sparkly frilly costumes looking like little Shirley Temples DID make my uterus ache a teensy little bit for a girl.
For now, though, I will be proud to be the mom of a boy dancer. But will Boy #2 find himself wearing a pink tutu next year?