Friday, August 8, 2008

Parenting & Tango

My dear friend and an inspiration, Johanna, asked "Have you found that Tango has had any effect on your parenting, either good or bad?"

I think of this a lot. Tango came into my life at a time when I was crawling out of survival mode. I was releasing the mantle of sacrifice, asturity, and anger that had dogged me my entire parenting experience. It was the thing I was finally doing for myself.

This also coincided with my children growing a bit, old enough to be home together for a couple hours. Old enough to allow me to go be a grown up beyond a parent.

And so tango has become part of my life, and that of my kids. They tolerate it.

Mom, didn't we listen to this cd, like, 8 times yesterday? I can't hear that one song one more time. I am going to scream. Yes, mom, we can all tap out the beat. Yes, mom, we can all hear the delicate melodies. We want to listen to Weird Al now.

It was only 4 times. I want it in their souls. Tango is good for them. The music; it will make them ....more.

Mom, don't you have tango tonight? You should go dance. You're beautiful when you dance. You always look so happy when you come home. Go dance tonight. Can we have ice cream while you're gone?

Really?, you think I'm beautiful? Ok, I'll go dance. Ice cream? uh, do we have any? sure, go for it. beautiful, really?

No, mom, we won't dance with you. Go find some old guy to dance with. Mom, stop. You're embarrassing me. I won't move. I'm not gonna move. You can't make me. I don't care if all I have to do is walk. Mom, get away from me!

But it couldn't be sweeter to have a dance with my own son! The girls will think it's hot. It will make you interesting! Hey, where are you going?

Tango has become part of the very core of my being, and I know my boys feel it. I know they see it as the thing I love for myself, the thing that keeps me happy, the thing that fills me up. I was worried they would feel jealous when they began to know the passion I have for tango, but I think they don't mind sharing me.

I think they like that I leave them home 3 or 4 nights a week to play video games while I dance my heart out.

So, Johanna, yes, it has effected my parenting, but not in any different way than it's effected everything else in my life.


Elizabeth said...

Oh gosh, that is so sweet. "Mom you are embarrassing me.." I used to say that to my beautiful mom, and my kids said it to me. We can only hope that our kids will have someone to say it to them!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, mtnhighmama. What a wonderful, charming and tender post.

I think Tango transforms those around us as they witness how it transforms us. As tough as it might be (and it sounds like it would be QUITE tough), let them come to it on their own.

They will :-)

Mtnhighmama said...

My youngest, the other day, stopped what he was doing in the store we were in and said,"Mom,isn't this a tango?"

It was. And I was grinning ear-to-ear. At 8, he's still too young to realize how uncool it is to be interested in his mother's passions. But it's trickling in, and whether they pursue it or not in their futures, it's inside them too.

Shine said...

did you dance with him in the store?

Mtnhighmama said...

i didn't even ask, shine. better not to push my luck.

Jancito said...

For an outsider it's interesting to see how for Tangueras Tango is not a dance but much more, let's say... a passion, a feeling, a way of life?

Anonymous said...

Jancito, you got it!

Mtnhighmama said...

Yes, Jancito...that is it exactly!

me said...

my almost-a-teenager son sees the joy in my face and my body, when i talk about think about it.

he sees how i was BT and how i am now, AT.

i grin when he wonders whether he has shrunken, or that i have grown taller (better posture, you see).

i am very glad that he tolerates my passion.

Mtnhighmama said...

More than he tolerates it, you are infusing him with a sense of personal fulfillment. From here on he will carry the idea that there is joy in doing something for himself, he will see the wonderment in your eyes and know that there is something for him that evokes the same feeling, somewhere.