When Naomi was invited to her friend Izzy’s 7th birthday party, we were thrilled! When we were told it would be a disco dance party, and that all the others coming were from Izzy’s school class (of which Naomi is not a part), we were a bit nervous. I asked Naomi if she really wanted to go to the party, knowing these details, and she replied that she would go if I would go too and stay with her.
So on Saturday, the two of us went to our first disco … and had a blast!
Naomi was shy at first. She stood against the wall, watching all the other kids. I offered to dance with her, figuring she would be happy with me as a partner, but she stubbornly stayed glued to the wall. The music was loud, the room was dark (with fun, multi-colored, moving lights), and there were about 20 other kids racing around. I did not blame her one bit for hanging back and watching! I would have done the exact same thing probably.
Then Izzy’s mom Emily (whom Naomi knows fairly well) got all the kids to grab hands, forming a big circle. Naomi and I joined up with the others and we all ran around in a ring. This seemed to break the ice for my shy daughter, and I smiled inside to see her laughing. After that, I couldn’t stop her from dancing!!
She played the few organized games (musical bumps and pin-the-horn-on-the-unicorn) and creatively did her own dance moves to the free-dance music. She was even one of the winners of the “dance competition.” (Thank you, Emily, for affirming my daughter in that way!) I made a few bathroom runs with small groups of girls, and Naomi stayed behind in the dance studio, dancing away (instead of clinging to me like I was afraid she’d do). I could kick myself for not having brought my camera along. I don’t know when I’ll next see her being so free and having so much fun!
We had a nice “tea” (sandwiches, chips, veggies, grapes, cakes), took a group photo, and then Naomi helped Emily and me pack the goodie bags. (I’ve discovered that in England, you send home a piece of the birthday cake as part of the treat bag. Note to self for Naomi’s upcoming party!) When we got home, she said it was the best birthday party ever. (I asked her why, and she said it was because of the food.)
I could not have been more proud of my Naomi. All the kids there knew each other super-well, having seen each other everyday at school for the past few years. There was my daughter: American, new, home-schooled, and a stranger to all but Izzy. But she’d jumped right in and had a great time. Maybe her shyness is gradually receding…