Friends, the unthinkable has happened. I am (gulp) no longer (long, dramatic pause) a dance mom (cue tears).
Our daughter informed us last week that she wanted to quit competitive dancing. After five years of sequined booty shorts, Kardashian faux lashes and jazz hands out the wazoo, she is hanging up her tap shoes. Now a freshman in high school, she wants more time for studying, socializing and work.
I mean, I get it. Dance takes enormous commitment and sacrifice, both from the dancer and the parent. I’ve lost track of how many days I’ve spent at various performing arts centers watching hundreds of routines to see my baby on stage for literally three minutes. And don’t get me started on the cost!. Seriously, don’t, because I think I still owe from last year. Heck, on some level, I even believe this was the right call.
But when she read the text to her coaches explaining her decision, I cried. Partly from pride – the writer in me couldn’t help but notice her elegant and mature use of language – but mostly because I realized that her quitting meant that so was I.
No more hanging with fellow dance moms at conventions; no more secretly judging reprehensible costume choices; no more complaining about the weekend-long competitions, even though I actually looked forward to the multiple Steak ‘n Shake runs and book-reading opportunities. The truth is that I loved being a dance mom and wasn’t prepared for that part of my life to end.
Perhaps more importantly, what nonsense am I supposed to write about now?