Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dancing – even when you don’t want to

This morning, as I ran around my house trying to gather up everything I needed for work and get my pre-schooler’s backpack in working order, I was invited to a dance party. And I kind of had to go.

A little back story: My husband and I love music. Not in the sense that we play instruments or sing and not in the sense that we’re super knowledgeable in music history or anything. We just like to listen to music. At our house, it’s not uncommon for us to crank up the radio and just start dancing with our now 5-year-old son, Max. Through the years, that has evolved into what Max calls our “family dance party” during which we turn on music and Max and our 1-year-old Jack and my husband and I just … dance.

To make it official, about six months ago, my super tech savvy husband set our radio at home to start playing music every weekday at 5:30, just about the time we’re cooking dinner. We don’t dance every day, of course, but it’s a fun little tradition. Some days Max isn’t in the mood- he’s playing trains or just having a rough day and doesn’t feel like dancing but we always tell him, “It will make you feel better. You only have to do it for a minute!” So he obliges us (and yes, I’m sure he thinks his parents are a little bit coo coo).

So back to today: This morning I didn’t have my shoes on, hadn’t found the necklace I wanted to wear and just generally was having a bad morning. But in as I ran around trying to get ready, Max asked me if I could come to his dance party in his room.

“I don’t have time, honey,” I told him. “We’re going to be late for school!”

But he wasn’t having it. He not-so-gently reminded me that “It will make you feel better and you only have to do it for a minute!”

So I went in his room where he had turned on his television to his favorite DVD, Little Toy Trains. He was blasting it just about as loud as it would go and there he was, in the middle of his bedroom, dancing his little heart out. So, I joined him.

It really did only take a minute and I DID feel better.

I had no idea our dance parties were anything more than something fun to keep the boys distracted while they waited on dinner. But to that little boy, it meant something. And I have to say, he threw a stellar dance party.

So the next time you’re having a rough day, grab a kiddo and dance. It certainly seems to work at our house!

Aleshia Howe is mother to two boys and communications specialist at Texas Health Resources Foundation.

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