It wasn’t a competition as much as a test. How far could we go before our kids became really really REALLY embarrassed by us?

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.

spirit dance, dancing, Melanie Bourne, flash fiction

Spirit Of The Dance, Melanie Bourne.

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!

Our kids didn’t think so. They were shocked to see us on World News Tonight, and to hear that we each now had 100,000 Twitter followers.

“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.

116 thoughts on “NEVER Too Old

  1. Great story, Pam. It’s not fiction though. My sister was a ballroom dance instructor when she was younger. She continued to dance in her 60+ and entered competition with younger dancing partners. Each of her four friends and she had ballroom dance birthday parties. Her last dance was in October 2018 for a charity. Unfortunately she died of congested heart failure in January 2019. My husband, my daughter, and her husband, and I happened to be in Hong Kong for my nephew’s wedding. We were able to say goodbye to her even though she was in coma.

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Such a fun story, Pam! I thought it might be based on a real news story until I saw it was tagged fiction. I would be proud and excited if this was my mom, and I think my daughters would be the same about me.
    My grandfather learned ballroom dancing when he was in his 70s, I think. He wasn’t a very good dancer, but he knew all the steps and well into his 80s he danced with every woman he could at my wedding!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a wonderful story! It made me feel happy just reading this. I like to think that age is just a number; keeping an open mind and trying new things keeps people young at heart. And, that is an important thing…some people who are young are not ‘young at heart’. Great story!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, our cells age, but not our mind or our spirit. And that’s what is most important! And yes, I feel so sorry for those who aren’t even “old” by society’s standard and have aged in their heart. Let’s keep young, active, and joyful every year of our lives, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember when I thought anyone over 30 was old! I’m glad that things are changing from the days when 60-year-olds would just sit in a rocking chair waiting to die. People are much more active in body and mind these days. Well … most of us are!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this story–not only the dancing friends but also the children who complained and were embarrassed. It reminds me of my grandmother. She was a good dancer. My grandpa used to play in a dance band, and while he was playing, she spent the evening dancing with all the men. After my grandpa died, she continued going to dances, including at the grange hall. We asked her how she could dance some of those fast folk dances like the polka and the schottische that require hopping. She said, she just did a two-step.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a wonderful story about your grandparents! Your grandmother reminds me of my mom, who played tennis until she was 85 and tried rollerblading with my kids when she was 75. Some members of our family were upset with her, saying she was “putting herself at risk” for broken bones, etc. I said, “GO FOR IT MOM!”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This really isn’t fiction after all, Pam. Ha! What fun to swirl around a ballroom floor, dancing the younger ones “under the table” so to speak.

    My kids admonished us about Covid-10 protocol and held their breaths until we got our shots, but mostly they say “Go for it”!

    Just this week, I read a blog post about an 84-year-old woman who has written 3 books in her 70s and is asking readers if she should start a blog. My answer to her is “Yes, —yesterday!”

    We are all waiting for more on Jason and Samantha.

    Have a lovely weekend, storyteller extraordinaire. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, this is fiction based on experience, let’s put it this way. I’m younger than Laura and Danni but I have a friend who would be happy to help me embarrass our kids whenever possible. No ballroom dancing in my repertoire – YET!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam, a terrific story and like many I thought it might be based on fact … then read the comments and see how many related so closely the story. Wow! Amazing to touch so many directly and really shows words and our stories matter so much! A heartwarming affirmation!

    As for the children and grandchildren in the story, I feel like telling them to ‘grow young’ and support their mothers and be proud of them.😀 Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my dear friend! hugs xx ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Annika, you always help me see something differently. You’re right, this story DID touch buttons of many, and I hadn’t thought of that until now. I think as we watch our young’uns become not so young, we see ourselves shrink in some way. Maybe because we’re not the most important planet in their universe any more. And often, “grown up” children never stop thinking of their parents as just, well, parents, not as individuals with great personalities, abilities, and oomph. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Just wonderful and affirming Pam thanks and to the people who commented! I think our two adult sons wouldn’t be surprised at anything we did these days though I do remember when they were small, they’d be embarrassed if I sang – with movements and all – in the car 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it fun, to read the comments? We do share our wealth of feelings and experiences, don’t we? For the most part, my kids send me kudos, congrats and “we’re so proud of you” on the phone and in person. B U T, they don’t read my blog or books (well, they read the children’s books, not the adult ones). Go figure. Seriously, I think it’s hard for them to imagine their mom writing romantic suspense. :-0 Wait ’til they read my flash memoir. Oh dearrrrrr. 🙂 🙂

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  9. Pingback: NEVER Too Old – Aliexpress Shopping

    • Too true Andrea. I keep threatening my kids that I will live til I’m 100 so I can see what they’re like when they are in their 60s. The way it’s going now, I’ll still be much more active than they are. 😚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this, Pam. 72 – or 80 for 90 – isn’t what it once was anymore, and we should all be dancing for as long as we can if it puts a smile on our face. That and anything else! Maybe the kids with parents like these ought to get out a little more themselves and loosen up! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s true that the kids (my son is 36 and stepson late 40s) are already starting to be concerned about what I’m out doing, especially travels. I love these two women and would love to see them dance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that you and I would be rooting for Danni and Laura! I like the fact that my adult children care about me but I don’t like it if they tell me I have to “slow down. “I will tell you that they haven’t said that yet so they are smart children. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great story, Pam! We’re only as old as we feel, and if at 70 or 80 we feel 40, well then I say go for it! My hubby and I used to go dancing all the time when we were younger. Great times and memories. We’ve talked of taking ballroom dancing, but never have yet. Maybe someday. Until that time, we do manage to slow dance in the kitchen now and then. 🙂 Happy dancing! 💗🎼

    Liked by 1 person

    • My guy thinks he’s not a good dancer so I dance in front of him throughout the kitchen and living room as he looks on with a bemused expression. He hasn’t understood yet that it doesn’t matter how good a dancer you are. It matters that you still dance! We did try to take ballroom dancing lessons many years ago but he wasn’t great at taking the instructor’s lessons and I wasn’t great at following his stumbling footsteps. 🤪

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  13. This story, and Miriam’s sister, are both inspirations. As was my Dad. He was in his mid eighties and still pushing wheelbarrow loads of dirt around. They weren’t full barrow loads, and he took things slowly and carefully, but each night he went to sleep on a sense of achievement. Retirement should provide the freedom to take up new, exciting challenges. And we should challenge ourselves. Never too old. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of us had parents and siblings who really showed us a path to aging with fun and grace. My mom played tennis until she was 82 and she worked at the Gap clothing store- top saleswoman – until she was 84. She went out to lunch with her friends and giggled for hours. She, and people like your dad and Miriam’s sister, are my role models.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I actually clicked on Lester Holt’s photo just in case there was a video of you, Pam. A big part of me is hoping to see these ladies on ‘Dances with the stars.’ Somehow the word ‘doddery’ does not seem to describe these women. Thank you for sharing a fun post that hits close to home. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A wonderful story, full of fun and hope. At our age, we do not have to comply with anyone else’s rules. We can do as we please. It’s important to stay active and have hobbies and challenges. We had such great places to go when we were young and newly married. We would meet in groups. What fun we had. Unfortunately, those VFW’s and Knights of Columbus don’t offer Friday night dances anymore. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I always wonder why “kids” wouldn’t be happy their parents are active and out there doing things. Hell, if my parents were, that means there’s a good chance I will!.
    Wonderful story!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I absolutely loved reading your story just now. I think it’s great that you and your friend both have went out and done what your kids never thought possible. I’d keep it up and find a good way to get back at them for saying that you were embarrassing them. I’d do it publicly though. That’s just how I am. Keep doing what you love to do. Even if it’s not all the time. Your obviously quite capable of dancing so I don’t understand what the problem is with it, or why your kids would be embarrassed by you doing it with media coverage. You have lots of fans and people cheering you on. So give the audience what they want. Encore! Encore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your sweet remarks. I must admit that this story is pure fiction. I love writing stories in the first person. But I have many friends who are older than me and extremely active and their kids worry about them instead of applauding their achievements.

      Liked by 1 person

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