My best friend, Danni, and I weren’t new kids on the block, and in fact, we both had children who were now in that stage of telling us what to do. Or not to do.
Danni’s oldest, Jason, was 42 and called his mom weekly to check up on her. She was a widow, and he was afraid she was lonely.
But Danni laughed about his worries. “Laura,” she said to me often, “Jason lives three states away and has no idea what I’m up to.”
He was too busy raising his own family, as was my daughter Samantha, 41, who lived cross country and checked up on me weekly as well. The conversations were really about her, though, and which of her four kids was having trouble in school, or won the tennis match, or fell down and scrapped a knee. Samantha never seemed to notice that she didn’t ask about my life.
Danni and I played Pickle ball with a group of seniors, and attended the same book club, as well as a hiking group. But this all seemed staid to us, so Danni and I decided to take ballroom dancing together. As single women, our nights were free and we were both still lithe and in shape, so why not?
We were so good we began to join ballroom competitions, and the local news station decided to make a story of two 72-year- olds winning first place with 30-something dance partners. Why the story went viral on Twitter and Facebook and then with Lester Holt on NBC News baffled us, but what fun!
“Mother,” Danni’s Jason said to her, “you are not a youngster any more. You’re going to hurt yourself, wearing those ball gowns and swirling around the slippery floors.”
I was as mad as Danni when she repeated her son’s admonitions to her. Particularly since the night before, Samantha had called me with her “concerns,” adding, “Really mom, you’re embarrassing me and the kids. You’re too old for this.”
WHAT? Since when are people too old to swing, to dance, to laugh, to have a good time?
So we decided to compete against each other, and to embarrass our kids in a marvelous way.
We accepted the offer by Derek Hough, one of the judges, who plied us with compliments and assurances that we could do this. AND there would be a viewership of millions.
Yup, we will each be one of the featured dancers on DANCES WITH THE STARS for their 30th season.
We can’t wait to hear what Jason and Samantha have to say about their doddery ole moms.