I recently took my two-year-old daughter to a rehearsal for her very first dance recital. I have only been to dance one time when our nanny was sick, so the other mothers didn’t recognize me. As I was watching the class dance their “routine” to a song from Moana when Caroline came up to me for help with her shoe.
One of the other moms asked me, “Oh, are you her aunt?” Don’t get me wrong, I could be. This kid looks NOTHING like me, so it’s not like there is any kind of maternal resemblance that stands out. I laughed and responded “no.” I explained that I am Caroline’s mom and work full-time so her nanny, Haley (“Boss”), brings her to dance. I also told her the other kid that tags along with Caroline and Boss is also mine. The other mom seemed embarrassed and apologized. I told her there was nothing to be sorry for, not a big deal. Because you know what? It wasn’t.
I could have taken that moment to be upset and feel mom-shamed or mom-guilted or whatever, but I didn’t. Maybe I was inspired by my friend Nikki’s recent post about mom-shaming or maybe I really am moving past the working-mom guilt. Or maybe I just don’t want to be lumped in with Abby Lee Miller and the rest of the dance moms. I am glad that I maintain an air of sanity when I enter the dance studio. Who knows.
Here is what I took away from that interaction: 1. My daughter must kill at dance class if the other moms know who she is. If her moves are anything like mine at a wedding with an open bar, you know that’s right. 2. Haley treats my gals like they are her own. And that’s awesome. What more could I ask for? 3. My kids look nothing like me. Seriously. Haley is blond with blue eyes. These kids have dark brown hair and darker brown eyes. If they look more like her than me? Shiza.
So, I will proudly wear the mantle of Dance Aunt. I mean, if I am to believe Lifetime and Dance Moms to be proper nuts, maybe Dance Aunts are slightly less crazy? After all, my two-year-old is performing in a recital, and I did buy a costume as directed and cookies for after the show, I will obviously be fangirling from the audience. And maybe I did buy 12 pairs of legwarmers on Amazon. And of course, all of this means she will be going to Julliard and has a future on Broadway. I can see her name in lights already… Okay so maybe I am also proper nuts, but a Dance Aunt can dream, can’t she?