Like This and Like That

This dance company decision-making process is torturing me, but I know I have to do what’s best. “Selfish me” removed.

Today I was overcome with waves of guilt about J. Sometimes I have to miss his events. For instance, the last week of school he was receiving awards at an award ceremony. He didn’t call me; he called his dad. Because his dad works in the evenings, it’s easier for him to get over to the school during the day for an event or to escort him on a field trip. It eats me alive. What’s worse, J didn’t even expect me to be able to go. He didn’t even call. And I suffer deeply because of that.

And then I think of my mom.

I don’t know how she did it all. She managed to enroll me in several different classes or teams, she worked and she was a member of this and leader of that.

And she was present at every single show or swim meet or award ceremony or camp closing. Not one time did I think: Man, I wish Mom were here. She and Dad were always there.

The only things she didn’t accompany me on were dates. But she always waited up to hear about them. I’d run to her room, pounce on her bed and give her my full report. Well…maybe not full report.

And she’s a curious one. She lives to witness me maneuver my way out of sticky situations. One afternoon during my high school years, a guy “friend” and I came home and she was sitting in the dining room waiting on me — with another one of my guy “friends” — eating McDonald’s French fries.

There she sat. Smirk as crooked as a cowlick. Raised eyebrow that said: How are you going to wiggle your way out of this one, Melissa? She had known where I was and who was with me. She just wanted to see the sparks. And my heart palpitations. Even these shows she didn’t miss.

My mom and I are very close. Extremely. And now that I’m an adult, she’s still here for me. The only thing that keeps her from my shows now is approximately 1,000 miles of a commute. But she still makes a way when she can. Last November I danced with Yow Dance in New York City for a dance festival. She, my sister and niece and two friends drove nearly six hours to surprise me at the show.

But I didn’t even make a way to drive 30 minutes to attend my son’s awards ceremony. The work would’ve been there when I got back. I should’ve left it sit on my desk until I took care of what’s most important to me.

I hope when J is older he’ll look back on all we did in place of what we did not. I hope he knows in his heart that I would be there if I could. I hope he remembers the special moments when I surprised him by showing up and he felt proud to show off his mom.

How did/does my mom do it? Well, she’s just got it like that.

Oh, boy. Now she’s going to strut through the living room in front of my dad and repeat that for the next week.

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  1. Yes, the prancing has begun. Ha ha By the way, Tiana has the same prance, we noticed when we were at Kohl’s and she tried on a dress. Oh yes, we’ve got it.