Teaching the Two-Step through (Pre)Teen Emotions

First middle / junior school dance* of the year, tonight. Bridget was so excited to learn about it yesterday, she was practically vibrating. She had her outfit put together last night, and repeatedly squealed how nervous she was. Jack was more laid back, nearly waiting until the last minute before deciding to go. 

*younger kids went from 6-7:45, older kids/young teens went from 8-10

Bridget didn’t even look back, once I paid her ticket. She drifted forward, Cinderella at the ball, found her friends and there were happy hugs all around. When I picked her up, she didn’t want to leave, of course. Her crush wasn’t there, but she wasn’t too disappointed. She’d chased a different boy down and made him slow dance with her. 

We had another chat about consent on the way home. 9 and a half, folks.

Jack didn’t have quite as good a time as he’d hoped. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say that he finds himself wishing life were scripted. Doing my best to help him figure things out.

This is the part where I concentrate on remembering the roller coasters of fresh hormones at 14. And at almost 10. It’s been getting harder, though. Maybe that’s why some writers focus on youth fiction — it might become easier to reconnect with those memories and be able to empathise with the kids. 

Me, back at the volunteering

I am sitting with my feet up, enjoying the quiet after a looooong day of volunteering at a fundraising barbecue for the local skating club as part of the town’s Canada Day celebrations. 

It was a good day, even though most of it was cool and drizzly. And my feet were cold and wet. As was my nose. 

I was the first person to use one of the Port-a-Potties. Have you ever sat in a fresh Port-a-Potty?


I kept busy from 9 am to 8 pm, helping with the set-up and take-down, and spending the majority of the day prepping burger and hot dog buns with napkins. It was actually rather . . . Zen. A simple job, part of a chain of tasks, and although my back did feel some strain after a while, it was flexible enough that I was able to do it while occasionally sitting down.

Hours of no other demands than opening a bag, wrapping a bun with napkin, and making sure each bun opens cleanly. Handing buns to the runners. And pleasant conversation, to boot. Recognizing friends and former students. 


Once in a while, Bridget (who had come with in absence of a babysitter, as her dad had gone to an event in another town for the morning as part of his Shriner’s stuff) would come back from running around the inflatable bouncy houses to eat or check in with me (I only had to track her down once). By the time Hubby came after his Shriner fun, she was ready for a nap although she left in protest. She was back a few hours later, and eventually helped us with the cleanup as best she could (as she’d helped with set-up).

That was something else that was lovely: the Canada Day celebration was only a few blocks from our house this year. If I hadn’t needed the car to transport supplies, we could have walked it. And as I write this, listening to the fireworks (visible from my back windows), she’s there, with her brother, having walked back down for the fun.


That’s another awesome part of today: Jack taking on more responsibilities. He took his sister to the fireworks, not only because he wanted to see them too, but because he knew I was too tired after the long day to take them. He stepped up. And that was after being at the barbecue all day himself, too — he was there from start to finish along with me, getting going on his 40 hours of required volunteer service (part of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma). He did such a great job handling meal tickets, food, and occasionally money, alongside his peers, and he was complimented on his manner by the both the fundraising and event coordinators. All of the kids who were there did a great job, but hey — proud mama, here. 

So it’s the end of the day, and I can hear the traffic as the fireworks have come to an end. My children will be home shortly. And hubby is starting his new job tomorrow, so he’s already gone to bed for his 4 am start. I shall sleep well tonight, I think.