Posted by: Budger | March 28, 2010

Just have a good time!

I am very blessed.  My mom is a wise woman.  I wish that I could say that I listened to every lesson she tried to teach me, the first time she tried, but I cannot.  I was a pretty hard-headed teenager, and there are a lot of lessons that I had to either learn through multiple teachings, or completely on my own.  But there are many times now, where I find myself thanking my Mom for what she tried to do.  I think there were a lot of times her lessons went unappreciated until I was myself an adult. 

A couple of months ago, I was going through some old photos with a friend.  I came across a photo of my sophomore/junior year Sadie Hawkins dance.  Ahhhhh the Sadie Hawkins, that once a year dance where tradition dictated that the girls ask the boys to the dance.  My friend asked me why I had kept that picture as it is a terrible picture.  My face is beet red, I look totally out of breath, and my hair is sweaty and stuck to my forehead.  It really is a terrible picture.  Except for one thing, my smile is huge, and when I look at that picture, I remember how much fun I had at that dance. 

It was my 2nd Sadie Hawkins dance.  The first one that I went to was a disaster.  And I think I had vowed to my mother that I would never go to another one.  But this year, I asked the boy that I had the hugest crush on.  And I remember the day of the dance being so nervous that I threw up.  As I was getting ready for the dance, so nervous that my hands were shaking, my mom told me to just have a good time.  Quit worrying about the boy – oh Mom if only it were that easy – and go to the dance and have fun.  Well as it turned out, that was pretty much what happened.  We danced every square dance, and by the time we went to have our pictures taken we were both out of breath and red-faced.  I have no idea if my date had as much fun as I did, but I know that ever since then, I’ve always thought square dancing was a blast.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take my mother’s words to heart through the rest of my high school years.  I spent way too much time worrying about how I looked and what the other kids thought.  And that even carried into my early adult life.  But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at heeding my mother’s advice.  I try to look at everything as a new adventure.  Sometimes I fail.

At my 20 year high school reunion, my best friend was coming to the reunion from Croatia.  She had moved back there after graduation and we had not seen each other since.  When we were in high school, we were virtually inseparable, and our parents would get irritated with us that we spent the day together at school, and then had to talk on the phone after school.  But as we were driving in the car to pick her up to take her to the reunion, I was so nervous that I couldn’t quit fidgeting.  We were spending the whole weekend together, sharing a hotel room.  What if we didn’t have anything in common?  What if we didn’t have anything to talk about?  I seriously thought about running from that car. And then my friend Rick convinced me it would be OK, and I heard my mom say “Just have a good time!”  And when I walked up to my friend after 20 years, it was as if nothing had changed.  We were inseparable, and we sat up talking in our hotel room after the party. 

It would be nice to be able to say that I have completely outgrown all insecurity, but old habits are hard to change.  So although it was a lesson that I have not completely heeded throughout life, when I get nervous, when I worry – am I wearing the right thing, or am I going to have anything interesting to say? – I hear my mother’s voice.  Just have a good time!  Thanks Mom!



  1. I remember that Sadie Hawkins dance and all the dread and anticipation that went with it. I also remember when you got home that night. You were still wearing a big grin. You just had had a good time.

    I am so proud to be your Mom.

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