No. 1 surprised me last night. I think he’s a lot like his mom in many ways. Some good, some not so good (I’ll pay for that one later). Comparatively, those are much better odds at succeeding in life than if he had been more like me. Less good, more bad. I blame my English teacher Sis. Ili. She gave me a false sense of optimism when she said that I was going to be a famous writer one day. Boy was she wrong.
When we moved to Samoa I was a teenager with a bad attitude, a somber disposition and a pair of boogie shoes. A lethal combination unless you’re an aspiring priest or a Kindergarten teacher. Few things made me happier than being enveloped by the music and letting the beat take my feet. I was awkward and gangly and I’m sure most people observing my dance moves probably thought I was suffering from a debilitating muscular disease or I could have been mistaken for a featherless chicken with a gastrointestinal disorder.
Regardless of the world’s perception, nothing could keep me from dancing. My friends and I would spend hours perfecting (as best as we could) popular dance moves and trying new ones on for size. There were days when my shoulders and back ached from pop-locking, Cabbage-Patching and moon-walking the hours away. I even had the audacity to participate in a few impromptu dance-offs on the dance floor, usually against guys who walked around barefoot in a lavalava but who takes that into consideration when you’re smoking the competition?
I understand from reliable sources that my wife was quite the dancer growing up. I believe it. She has the energy and the coordination to pull it off. When I first met her we were at a dance club and she was nimble enough to catch my eye. She still has rhythm and grace. Where I lost my own rhythm is now a bigger mystery than Sasquatch.
For weeks I portrayed the image of the suffering father, bothered by the countless hours of non-stop bass-pumping beats filtered through our home as No. 1 and his dance crew practiced a dance routine in our kitchen for the Lehi High School talent show. I would steal glances over my shoulder from the stove where I was usually cooking up some concoction for an after-work snack. They were timid whenever I was around. I was really trying to steal a few moves to practice on my own so that I could show off at the next church dance. Can you imagine? “Hey Bishop! Would you like me to teach you how to Dougie?”
Last night, No. 1 proved that he’s inherited a bit of that dancing DNA from his parents. He and his friends won 2nd Place in the competition and if I was a cheerleading mom I’d probably protest that they were ten times better than those horn blowing penguins who walked away with the first place goodies.
As I watched No. 1 out there getting his Bieber on I realized that he “gets it”. If you love something enough like dancing it doesn’t matter how many pimple-laden teenagers in a cramped auditorium are jeering you. The most important thing to remember is that you just gotta do you! (And if I can figure out how to grab some video footage and post it here on WordPress, No. 1 and his buddies are going to be stars of epic proportions.)