Shall we dance?

I wasn’t creative in announcing my pregnancy. I didn’t stage a picture of my feet with a tiny pair of shoes and I definitely didn’t write some clever saying on a chalkboard subsequently holding it in front of my expanding waistline. I was pregnant not receiving the Nobel Peace Prize so I hardly thought it worthy of a press release. If I recall correctly, I broadcast my impending foray into motherhood by posting a status on Facebook asking where someone goes to buy designer maternity jeans.

Which is laughable because it’s not as if I regularly wear jeans when I’m not pregnant; so why I thought it necessary to try and squeeze myself into denim in a state of borderline obesity and extreme discomfort is beyond me. In all likelihood it was the allure of a stretchy waistband but there is no waistband in the world stretchy enough when you’re the size of a compact car. I wore those stupid jeans once or twice and openly wept and whined until I could take them off. And then I probably openly wept and whined that I was too fat for maternity jeans. Pregnancy is fun.

People do and say the strangest things to pregnant women. I don’t have the time or energy to go into how I felt about people attempting to touch my bump plus my rant would involve threats of bodily harm and homicide and that usually scares people so I’ll refrain. And the comments about my weight…I still have to take deep breaths. Yes I’m aware that I had my own gravitational pull at one point but fat people don’t really like being called fat and neither do pregnant women. As far as I’m concerned if you’re performing a miracle like that of creating human life, no one should say anything unless it’s “you are the eighth wonder of the world” or “I’m so proud of you for sustaining not only your own life but that of someone else’s, you're so selfless and I applaud you.”

In certain situations, the general public and even a handful of people that you’re quasi-close to will ask “will you have more?” My womb is uncomfortably full at the moment, why on earth would I be contemplating the production of more than one of these creatures while the current is still in progress. People were also super curious about whether or not Rinn would dance. I have to assume this question was only popular because I have such a long standing love affair with dance and was teaching ballet at the time. If Aaron Rodgers ever has a baby I’m sure everyone will ask “will he play football?” Because people are sheep.

Rinn barely had legs, resembling more of a Sour Patch Kid than anything else, when public inquisition led me to actually contemplate whether or not I would encourage him to follow in my ballet slipper clad footsteps. Because I’m not a dictator I settled on “if he wants to, sure; if not, I’ll hardly lose sleep over it.” On a deeper level however, I realized that while I wouldn’t be offended should Rinn decide that dancing isn’t for him, I would struggle if he very much wanted to dance but was bad at it. Picturing myself teaching dance in the distant future and Rinn being my worst student gave me the same anxiety as when I think about him bringing home his first girlfriend. No thank you.

Here we are four years and some odd months later, Rinn is taking dance classes and just finished up his first summer intensive. I was the proud parent positioned behind my iPhone recording every second of his week-ending performance. An epiphany occurred as I watched him cut a rug…

I’m an asshole.

Rinn is no George Balanchine; more closely resembling Bill Nye when he briefly appeared on Dancing With The Stars or Jean Claude Van-Damme when he did that awkward shimmy into a cooter slam in Kickboxer. I feel as though the dance teacher in me should've cringed a little while the mother in me only focused on how much he was enjoying himself. Watch the video below and you’ll see the art of dance elicit the most beautiful of responses in Rinn, a smile that nearly consumes his entire face. He absolutely beamed with pride and delight; and as a parent, and even as an educator, it’s hard to identify anything more important than raising children who are healthy and above all else, happy.

So going back to the question “will Rinn dance?” I am eager to respond that I will relentlessly encourage and support Rinn in doing anything he desires so long as it brings him even a quarter of the joy he demonstrates in performing that little routine; be it dance, soccer or even chess club. Obviously this philosophy does not apply to hard drugs or that pesky first girlfriend, but he recently told me that he is going to live with me forever and marry himself (or the cat) so for now I’ll take after him with a smile that nearly consumes my entire face. It’s contagious.

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