Dex asked; we didn't know what to say.
"There is a dance for 6th graders and 90% of my friends are staying home so they don't have to go."
Everything came rushing back, as if I was Molly Ringwald just finding out her underpants were on display for every nerd in school.
"The teachers say it is supposed to be a romantic dance. With romantic dancing."
This is where I start to question this hysteria that must have entered their 12 year old brains. The school is encouraging romance among preteens?
"If you don't want to go to the dance, you have to go detention."
By now my eyebrows pretty much have embedded themselves in my forehead.
I try to explain that, chances are, they have blown things out of proportion, which just makes the anxiety worse, because now I am calling him a liar. Awesome. I change course and remind him about all the dances from elementary school that were so much fun. I got the tween look of death. That one. Where parents just don't understand. I remember that look well. From when *I* had to go to teen dances and was petrified out of my mind and embarrassed and wanted to hide and apparently wasn't smart enough to think of asking to stay home.
Unfortunately, hiding isn't the really the answer, as much as I would love to have him home and just hang out with me all day and put the weird growing up stuff on pause for a few years. Instead, I emailed school to 1.) let them know kids were dreading this dance almost as much as acne or braces and 2.) ask what this romance business was about anyway?
I got an almost immediate response that of course it was not romantic, dates were not encouraged, and teachers would be teaching the kids group line dances if anything.
While that sounds maybe more awkward than anything, I am pretty sure by this time next week Dex will be looking back fondly at his first middle school dance.
Or at least he'll know how to do the Electric Slide.