There’s things that happen in a person’s life that are so scorched in the memory and burned into the heart that there’s no forgetting them. ~John Boyne
It’s true, sometimes there are events and situations that occur, which can never be forgotten. For those pessimists out there, I don’t believe these episodes are all bad and I believe any situation we encounter in life shapes us one way or another. Heck, sometimes they are even really funny and will be brought up around the dinner table or campfire from time to time, just for a good laugh. This is one of those stories, witnessed by many, remembered by me.
Yesterday was Kyle’s folk festival. His very last assemble of elementary school! Yes it was a bittersweet event. In fact, Kyle, knowing I would want to see him and knowing that I would come, called me to remind me of the shindig. He called me while I was meeting on the Chad Delier Scanlon Memorial Golf Outing. The Chad Delier Scanlon Story. While I was confirming the date and time with my little man, this crazy thought popped in my head. The Heel Toe dance!
The Heel Toe dance is a dance, done every year during their Folk Festival after the students perform their required practiced square dance or line dance. When they announce the Heel Toe dance, the students go running into the audience to select a parent, sometimes a teacher or a friend to partner-up with. It always looked like so much fun! As the memories of this dance come rushing into my head, the excitement was already building. I mentioned the dance to Kyle, to plant the seed, as I do every year. He just ignored me. When I asked him again if I could dance with him, he just sort of laughed and then moved off of the subject before getting off the phone.
On a side note, I new nothing about the Folk Festival until Kyle called to remind me. Thanks buddy! It’s a good thing I’m working for Thrill of the Hunt, a division of The Piper Corporation or I wouldn’t be able to take off work, on such short notice. Although I’m glad he included me!
Mom and I made our appearance, armed and ready to take video and pictures and to clap and cheer him on. It was a nice cloudy day and the Folk Festival was held out in the school yard. All the parents and onlookers circled the kids in the lawn chairs.
Slowly, the show moved along until we got to the long anticipated for, sixth graders! At this point it was nice to see the kids do their square dance and to pull their loved ones out of the audience to dance the Heel Toe Dance, but my patience and interest was fading with every grade. That is until Kyle and his class took center stage among the trampled down blades of grass.
Instead of a typical square dance, they did a line dance, which didn’t seem to amuse Kyle, at all! He was barely moving through the motions and seemed annoyed at the assembly. Keep in mind this was a child who called me a few days prior, excited to tell me about the festival and wanting me to be there. Kids!
Then came the big moment I was waiting for, the Heel Toe Dance! Yes! After coming to all his assemblies and watching years worth of Folk Festivals, I wanted to be the one picked to dance the Heel Toe dance with Kyle! I will confess, I sort of practiced it prior to, only from watching others perform it and paying attention. I’m ready!
Naturally, as the kids move around gathering up their partners, it was pretty noisy. I stood on the sidelines waving my hands yelling to get Kyle’s attention to show him where I was standing. (Just in case he didn’t see me.) Then mom chimed in and said, “Go up to him so he can see where you are.” At that point, we both thought Kyle would dance with me, and let’s face it, I was excited! So like an idiot, I went running across the lawn, in front of parents, teachers and the entire school of kids, with my arms flailing around as I was yelling “Kyle! Kyle!”
Just as I reached Kyle, in-the-nick-of-time before he chose someone, I wrapped my arms around him, startling the little package. Granted, I know better, hugging him in front of the entire school was not accepted, but I couldn’t help myself. Beside shooting me a big surprised look, he did give me one of his ornery grins. Admittingly, I was sporting a huge smile on my overly energetic body. I said, “Kyle are you going to let me dance with you?” Like an idiot, I had it all planned out in my head, mom was on standby to take the video, and my dreams have finally come true.
Until he looked me square in the eye and said as a matter of factually, “No.” then he elbowed me to get away from him! What? Denied! Are you kidding? I was instantly removed from my fluffy dream of running through the green fields toward Kyle, only to end up spiraling down a black pit! Did I take the wrong road? Pick the wrong kid?
Nope, it was all true and was witnessed by some. One being Kyle’s friend Luke’s mom, Sue. Kyle picked his friend Logan, right in front of me! Not knowing what to do next, I walked away with my head held low, in utter shock. As I got to my mom all I could say was, “He told me no!” Just then Sue busted out laughing. Not that I can blame her. I mean I looked pretty ridiculous running out there among the kids yelling, to only get turned down.
After the shock wore off, I found the humor in the entire situation, that I incidentally created for myself. After all, Kyle never agreed to dance with me and there wasn’t anything in the rule books on the subject. So, excepting the situation for what it was, I join Sue in the laughter. By then, she was really busting a gut. Of course, so was I when I did a play-by-play account of the last few minutes of my life, adding in the part when he elbowed me. We were both dying!
This was a good story for the books! No matter, if he wasn’t going to dance with me, I was going to make him. Just to pay him back, as the entire class danced in the grass to YMCA, I got up and ran behind Kyle to bust a move. He had no idea I was there until his friend pointed to me and Kyle turned around, with a mix of humor and horror on his face. He did get a little red in the cheeks, but he couldn’t help laughing at me dancing and throwing my arms in the YMCA letters.
Putting this silliness aside, I am very proud of Kyle. He just receive a letter from the school stating that after an evaluation of his work and test scores, he was going to move into advanced math next year. Yep, so he will be a seventh grader taking ninth grade math! I guess those flashcards I got him and worked with him when he was two, paid off. Although that may have been a start, he always had the interest and intelligence to do math. He worked hard for that accomplishment and it is all his. Way to go buddy! God Speed to you in junior high!
Maybe one day, the Heel Toe Dance will be mine!