#100 Seeing your parents dance

My dad might be Austin Powers.

When you open his closet it’s like being transported straight into the 1960s prom scene. Dark velour suits, purple polka-dot ties, and frilly shirts hang beside each other like dusty friends from days gone by. “Can you spare some mothballs?” I picture a silk shirt saying to a velvet vest. “I’m not going to make it otherwise.”

My dad was a high school teacher for the first thirty years after he came to Canada and he loved chaperoning school dances and bringing my mom along. They would swirl and twirl with big smiles on their faces as they slid their slippery shoes across sandy gym floors deep into the high school crowd.

Like most kids, my sister and I almost always saw my parents in the context of us. Reading Berenstain Bears before bed, swerving station wagons to school, or boiling macaroni for dinner, they were always there, starring in their forever-long feature roles of Mom and Dad.

I think that’s why it’s beautiful seeing your parents dance.

When they slip into an embrace on the dance floor at a wedding they suddenly dissolve out of your world and into their own. They’re not parents but people in love. It’s like getting a window into their first dates and their falling in love … with you spying from the sidelines or just smiling from above.

Your parents disappear and in their place you suddenly see the reason you came to exist. Frilly shirts, floral dresses, and velvet ties spin straight into swirling rainbow swirls of love that existed long before you arrived.


I started writing 1000 Awesome Things on June 20, 2008 and have been counting down one awesome thing for 900 straight weekdays. I remember being excited when the blog hit 1000 hits. Yesterday it passed 40 million hits. I don’t know what to say except thank you so much, everyone. Our awesome movement keeps growing and growing.

Also, a reminder that as a special thanks to everyone writing online reviews for The Book of (Holiday) Awesome, please email your address to 1000awesomethings@gmail.com so I can mail you an awesome thank you.

Photos from: here

45 thoughts on “#100 Seeing your parents dance

  1. OMG :( Last time 1000 Awesome Things will have three digits in the countdown … SO SAD!

    My dad refuses — and I mean FLAT OUT REFUSES to dance. Not for any reason other than he “knows he’d look stupid”. Poor dad. He and my mom have dated since high school (they’re now 55), so you can imagine the fun to be had at high school dances and every wedding reception and/or event thereafter. My mom said he danced like ONE slow dance with her in his life and he felt dumb like people were watching him. Poor mom.

    I love watching other peoples’ parents dance! Good for them. :)

  2. I have yet to see this! Maybe when I get married, they will! That would be my one wish from them!

    On another note, CONGRATS Neil on getting to the top 100! It is something to be very proud of. Thank you for making people smile over 40 million times.

  3. Congratulations on getting to #100, and the 40 million hits! Amazing.

    I love seeing my parents dance, it’s not often, but when it does happen, it’s AWESOME!

  4. just seeing that this is post 100 for somereason reminded me of the song…

    ‘ITS THE FINAL COUNTDOWN’… and now i have the dn dnn nnnn nnnnn, nn nn nn nnnnnnnn… etc etc in my head!

    hahaha anyway at our wedding my in laws were caught on the video doing the grease mega mix with each other & my mother in law had a scarf wrapped around my father in law.. AND they had both all the aunties around her & the uncles around him singing ” tell me more, tell me more!”
    funniest sight ever!

    1. NOOOOOO, Simone! Now I’m gonna have Final Countdown in my head all day! HOW could you do this to us!!??

      (Super cute story about your in-laws, though! Sounds like your wedding was fun!)

  5. “They’re not parents but people in love. It’s like getting a window into their first dates and their falling in love … ” love that!! so true!!! I have several photos of my lovely parents dancing — capturing precious moments and memories in time:)


    How messed up is it that we’ve already run down to the double figures?!

    The end is near… (*dramatic apocalypse-type music*)

    1. Hey – just checked out your blog. Cool stuff and your birthday is the same as my dad’s! Looking forward to reading more through the year…

  7. Too much junk food!! I read that book a thousand times when I was a kid!!
    This was funny but beautiful. I love seeing older couples dancing, holding hands or in a loving embrace. There is so much negativity about love lasting through the years that when I see this it gives me hope that love can last the ages if you find the right mate.
    I have seen my parents dance, maybe, once! My Dad hates it, poor Mom! My goal is to make sure he dances at least two times at my wedding!

  8. my parents are divorced to but the dya after thanksgiving my mom and aunt and baby cousins were jamming to party rock anthem lol

  9. I only discovered this blog this year. So what are you going to do with it when the countdown hits 0? I’m sad to think that this might end…..

  10. Having the window open, if but only once, is all it takes; is the only reflection needed to mirror the love light beam you rode in on.
    Thank God for attentive parent’s like yours~who shone love~ who’s swirls and twirls spun and grew you out!
    Bless you all for morphing the world into a brighter one!
    And many congratulations on all successes<3

  11. OMG, next year geekteen will be in high school, and I will be that parent. Heh, I’ll have to start practicing my most embarrassing moves…

    1. Parents who chaperone are awesome! Also practice your death stare… It comes in handy with the veeeeery slow dancing couple that should get a room except for the fact that they are only high school kids. Ugh.

  12. this is fantastic and completely true… it’s wonderful when they slip out of their Mom & Dad roles. My parents are elegant dancers, still married after 47+ years!

  13. Cute story, but hold on now! Love and politics are what they are, but love is too special to wear like a silk shirt. Even if death and the moon wisk my love away, I will love.

  14. I don’t really remember seeing my parents dance, but I can remember seeing them dance skate! They loved roller skating! In fact, their long-ago dates were frequently roller skating dates. When I was little they used to take me skating and during the dance skate, my parents would be out their spinning and twirling. My dad was awesome! Sadly, my dad’s now gone, but I can still see him in his younger days, gliding across the rink holding my mom. Thanks for the memory nudge on my parents.

    Congrats on a major accomplishment, Neil! Though I’m sad that we’re in the last 100, I’m just thrilled to be along for the rest of the ride!

  15. 100 Bottles of Awesome on the blog. 100 bottles of Awesome. Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of Awesome on the blog!

  16. Dude! Since when did we get all the way down to 100?!? Suddenly I’m realizing that there will be a day when I can’t come here for my daily moment of awesome. What are we going to do? You know, it’s not too late to change it to 2000 Awesome Things…

  17. I can’t imagine that next week we’re going to be down to the double digits!! I’m going to be so sad when this is over.

  18. Oh God, the last time I saw my dad dance was when he had 10 beers and started doing the twist around the camfire at the cottage with my sisters best friend. Priceless.

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