Life has been so hectic lately that having a free Friday night was a much welcomed treat for my family. It was made all the more sweet that my four-year-old son happened to have an all Green Card Week.
If you've had young children, perhaps you'll be familiar with the whole Green/Yellow/Red Card disciplinary system. At our son's preschool, kids start the day with a Green Card. But, if they misbehave, they are given warning first with the Green Card turning into a Yellow Card. And, in the worst case, they are issued the dreaded Red Card.
Last week had been a Red Card kind of week for my son.
As I worked with my son at home, helping him write apology notes to his teachers, he explained that he was sorry for "not listening and running away during nap time." The real heart crusher is when he explained that he just didn't want to be at school because he misses me while I'm at work: "Your work takes too long."
While I generally enjoy being a working mom, the separation lately has been difficult for my son, and therefore also for me to bear. My husband and I have tried to explain that we both need to work in order to earn money to pay for our home, for food, for clothes, for everything we do and for everything we buy...including toys.
Mentioning toys is always the clincher.
When us having to work doesn't make sense to his preschool heart, the mention of toys convinces him it is indeed necessary. And so, perhaps it was appropriate that we agreed to celebrate his all Green Card Week with the reward of a Beyblade toy.
After my husband got home from work, we headed out to Grossmont Center to buy our son his toy and figured we may as well catch dinner there while we were at it. We had some India Express in the food court and then checked the Beyblade stock first at Walmart and then at Target.
As we walked from Walmart to Target, we could hear live music playing in the distance. Walking further, the musical stylings of Breez'n grew louder, and we noticed an impressive crowd of people filling the courtyard area between Macy's and Panera Bread.
Our son immediately started hopping around to the lively beat of "Wooly Bully," and our fifteen-month-old daughter also joined in by bouncing around in her stroller. While a majority of the crowd filled the central area of the courtyard sitting in lawn chairs, there was a handful of couples dancing on the outskirts.
We let our daughter loose from her stroller so that she and our son could dance around together, and they moved to the music with smiles on their faces. The next song up was "La Bamba," which proved to be another crowd favorite.
Tickled by the sight of our dancing kids, a sashaying woman came up to us and commented on how she couldn't believe that so many other people could just sit there and not move to the music.
The small, informal dance party along the perimeter was indeed the place to be. As middle-aged parents, we found ourselves flanked by our dancing young duo on one side and some more "mature" dancing couples on the other. A grandfatherly man celebrated the dancing spirit of our son, approaching him with a joyful high five.
Next up was a more obscure Carlos Santana song that effectively put an end to all of the sidewalk dancing, and so we continued on our way to Target
Our son was happy to find an "Evil Gemios" Beyblade that fit the bill. But, by the time he went to sleep, we realized the real hit of the night turned out to be the impromptu dancing, and how, as our little guy proudly reminded us,"That man gave me a high five!"
Grossmont Center's Summer Concert Series continues throughout June and July on Friday nights, 6-8 pm. As advertised on their website, "Don't forget your chairs and more importantly, your dancing shoes!"