If the teenager isn’t there to see it, is it still embarrassing?

I was up on the campus today (NDSU) doing a few necessary errands.  I was reminded upon arrival that this is an orientation day as there were many clusters of new students following their guides around campus.  It is always nice to see those new, eager, and often anxious faces trying to take in everything that is NDSU in one day trip.  They acclimate quickly though, and before long they know their way around better than faculty members who have been around for years.  I do so love working at the university.

On my way back out to the parking lot, I saw a lone drummer practicing with her drum set out on the grass area adjacent to the lot.  She had quite a groove going.  I am not sure exactly what tune  she was playing, but I was feeling it.  For a few seconds I pondered tossing aside my high heels and doing an interpretive dance on the grass to her cool rhythm.  Not that I have any skills in that area or that it would even seem remotely normal to do so…I just had a moment where I felt a bit bohemian.

I ultimately didn’t dance.  I quashed the urge.  I did mentally note something though – had Cheyenne been with me, I would have danced.  I would have danced not merely for the joy of dancing, but also for the joy of leaving yet another imprint on my fledgling teenager of taking moments where you find them.  I admit that I realize that such behavior – random interpretive dancing in public – would serve as a source of terrible embarrassment for Cheyenne.  Honestly, that is part of the joy of it.  These are the things that stick with your children years later after they have grown up and are raising families of their own.  This is the spirit and spunk you pass on to them.  It is important to do it now when it leaves such a dramatic imprint.  There really is no better time to leave a mark on your child’s memory than when they are a teenager – everything you do that draws attention to them is a big deal.

Alas, interpretive dance with no teenager around to embarrass just isn’t quite the same.  If she isn’t there to experience it personally, the imprint just won’t stick.  The visual memory of her middle-aged mother bustin’ a move on the lawn at NDSU where any passerby could see her is something that Cheyenne would never be able to erase from her brain.

No worries, my dance moves aren’t going anywhere (or improving) and I still have a handful more teenage years to get my groove on. I’ll wait until I can get the maximum effect. ;-)

Day one thousand one hundred of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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2 Responses to If the teenager isn’t there to see it, is it still embarrassing?

  1. Barbara says:

    This was (unexpectedly) very inspiring! I hadn’t considered the imprint factor at all in the matter of embarassing teenagers. I’m sure my grand-daughters will be most appreciative of my new-found encouragement. :D :D

  2. Gail says:

    My daughter reminds me of the time I told her I’d have to call her back. She’d just had a car accident and was apparently shaken up by it and wanted to talk to me. I don’t remember this incident at all. Although when she told me about it, it left an imprint on ME!

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