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Stop and Dance

Updated: May 29, 2023

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

"She spins, and she sways

To whatever song plays

Without a care in the world

And I'm sitting here wearing

The weight of the world on my shoulders." Cinderella, Steven Curtis Chapman

When was the last time you stopped, heard the music, and just started dancing with your kid? You didn't care who was watching; you didn't care if people made weird looks at you, and all that mattered at that moment was the smile on that little girl's face that you were shaking your hips with her in the cereal aisle at the store.

As parents, we get so caught up with the weight of the world we worry we lose sight of the simple things that bring us those meaningful dopamine hits that we endlessly search for. Those little bare feet, standing on their tippy toes, cuddled up next to your legs, those big beautiful eyes staring up at you, their sweet little hand in yours and just dancing for three minutes.

Why would we stop and dance in the dairy aisle at the grocery store? I was reminded of this recently by Pen, my 2yo daughter; she did this; she heard music, stopped in her tracks, and started shaking her little hips. Granted, it's cute when she does it, but not when Dad does. WHO CARES? The only thing stopping me at that moment was the fear, embarrassment, and, honestly, being judged by people who would never see me again. In reality, I forgot that: life is meant to be enjoyed.

Parents, please stop caring about everyone else's thoughts; make those silly memories with your kids. The memory of you not being afraid to shake it for 37 seconds in the paint aisle at Lowes with your toddler or kindergartner is a memory that they don't get to tell their grandchildren. Every underwater tea party you decide not to have cause you rather sit on the side of the pool cause you don't want to get in is a memory you missed making.

Our kids are only so little once; we only get so many chances to make the core memories with them, to swing and sway so many times, so many chances to cuddle up in bed with them, to read books to them, swing them on a swing, have an underwater tea party. Yes, the world's weight is heavy, but in these moments and so many more that are in front of us daily with our kids, that weight gets a little bit lighter thanks to the joy we feel playing Uno for the 15th time in 2 days. Don't let it weigh you so much that you can't look up to swing and sway whenever the music plays.

Prompt: What're one or two things you, *insert name here*, can do today to become a better father? And why haven't you done this yet?

-Jey Young

Jey is the host of the Young Dad Podcast with his brother Aaron

you can find every episode on all platforms or by checking out the IG page:

You can find more of Jey in a bunch of places-

or on his website, where you can find Ball Boy Blog, Young Dad Podcast, and more of his writing

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