Bollywood Nights

#SOL16 Day 3Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 5.11.16 PM

I’m a dancer. I am a dancer strictly by definition, “a person who dances.” I am a dancer the way I am a cook. I do it, but no one is raving over my talent! I am a dancer because of my daughter. SHE is a dancer beyond the dictionary definition. She has talent.

My husband and I are sometimes baffled by this. We were both jocks. When I was young we didn’t have a girls’ basketball team at my school so I played on the boys’ team.  (I’d like to tell you they welcomed me with open arms-but perhaps that’s another “slice” to share). My recesses were spent playing kickball and softball with boys.  I wanted to be the first female outfielder for the Cubs. I loved all-things-sports.

Then we had our beautiful daughter, Bailey, and I thought, she’ll love sports.

She hates sports.

Oh, she tried them. She’d cartwheel down the basketball court, twirl around in the outfield, and sashay down the soccer pitch. And then she would go to her tap/ballet class and be in her element. Over the years I’d watch (through teary eyes) and wonder How does she DO that?

Her dance studio offers adult classes as well, and a few years ago I decided I wanted to experience what my daughter loves. I signed up for Bollywood because no prior dance experience was necessary. I felt incredibly uncoordinated and inept. I had to think about how to move my body -something I hadn’t given a smidge of attention to for years.  I was hooked. A year later Bailey joined the class and it took on a whole new meaning for me.  I was a part of something my daughter loved.


Last night as we were bhangra bopping across the studio floor, I was reminded that these nights are numbered. Bailey is a senior in high school, and I each month, week, and day with her becomes more and more precious. I watch her glide and leap and try to soak up every move and tuck it away for those lonely nights ahead. I smile in my heart when I watch her giggle and joke with her friends. This is joy. This is precious. This is fleeting. I couldn’t stop myself from randomly hugging her several times during class. I’m sure she wondered, What’s up with that? But she didn’t say much. Perhaps he’s just used to it. Perhaps she understands.

I’m glad this Slice of Life Challenge has me examining the small moments in my life this month.  They are so often taken for granted, until you know that they are numbered.  My Bollywood nights will be slices I want to always remember.


9 thoughts on “Bollywood Nights

  1. Wish you were closer so I could get you to join our writing group. This is truly moving. Bailey is such a light in your life. The two of you have many, many years ahead of you. So much to share and cherish. You are both blessed.

    I loved reading this, Paula. ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. What a poignant post, Paula. As the mother of five grown children (only one daughter, though), I well remember the feeling as each of them approached college. Savor these moments but remember, you won’t really ever lose your daughter. Strong relationships survive, thrive and continue to bring much joy as the years go on. This was a beautiful post.

  3. I love how your writing seemed to first be about dancing and then really became more about the change that will occur months from now as your daughter graduates from HS. Writing is so revealing and this is a powerful piece. As a mom of 20-somethings, I strongly connect to your piece but can also tell you that EVERY age is great! So while you savor your evenings of dance now, be ready for all that you can’t even imagine yet. Kids (no matter the age) are a joy! Thanks for sharing your joy!

  4. You are right, the small moments in life are what this challenge is all about. So often they occur and we don’t give them the merit they deserve. Enjoy these small moments because they are what make up the big picture.

  5. I was surprised as a parent to learn that our children are their own people. It seems like they are each born with their own personality. Our job seems to be to encourage the positive trains and discourage the negative ones. How wonderful that you are learning about your daughter in a whole new day.

    I especially love the line, ” She’d cartwheel down the basketball court, twirl around in the outfield, and sashay down the soccer pitch.” The verbs are so powerful!

  6. Those are special memories. How fun to share that experience of dance together! I noticed how many of us feel the fleeting away of our time as mothers. I have always told my own kids they were the best part of my life. We have so many funny, special, private just us stories we share. I look forward to more to come as they are now adults. My husband and I enjoy going out with our kids as adults; not bragging, just we really enjoy our conversations and time spent with them.

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