And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.  ~ Nietzsche

“We have to tell him to stop,” Dave implored me this weekend as we watched our oldest son on the dance floor at the lovely Bat Mitzvah we were attending.

“Leave him alone,” I responded. “He’s having fun.”

“He takes after me, you know,” Dave observed.

“I know.”    Boy did I know.

It might have been an easier call if Noah was dirty dancing with a girl as with that scenario, there is a bright line clearly marked so that parents can step in when it is crossed.  But, alas, no.

Noah was dancing by himself.  Break dancing.  Sliding and spinning across the dance floor.  In his DKNY suit that we bought at Nordstroms.  And had altered.  Which he has worn 3 times. But he is a pretty good break dancer.  For a white Jewish boy.

So I was reluctant to stop him.  The kid has maybe another year left that he can break dance in public without getting beaten up.  I think the legal limit for break dancing is, in fact, 13 years old, unless you are a professional dancer and it is part of your performing arts curriculum.  Then you have until high school graduation.

I would have stepped in if he was becoming a menace to the other guests.  Nothing like taking out Aunt Sadie with your round the world supa-spin – a scenario with which Dave has some familiarity.

In college (ahem) some years ago, my husband single-handedly dropped a poor girl on crutches (yes, crutches) with his interpretive dance entitled, “Mosh Pit Imagined.” We all watched in horror as down she went.  Later, Dave was unapologetic, uttering the one liner that has remained part of our gang’s Penn folklore until this day,

“She had no business being on the dance floor.”

So Dave didn’t push back too hard when I suggested we let Noah be.  I think he was not so secretly proud of his boy.  I was too.  Nothing is more wonderful than watching your children dance – unfettered and joyful.

We drove home from the Bar Mitzvah tired but happy until Noah observed from the back seat that his pants had ripped.  On the knee upon which he was spinning. On the DKNY suit that we had bought at Nordstrom’s The one we had altered which he has only worn three times.  To hell with joyful.

“We have to tell him to stop,” I implored Dave.

Notice to all parents:  The legal age limit for break dancing in your Bar Mitzvah suit has been lowered to 10.


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