Originally published in the newspaper, Hill Rag, June 2008.

True fact: Mommy Loves Disco.   Daddy?  He can tolerate disco if someone else takes the bullet and dances with me.  But baby?  Well…  To quote Amy Winehouse, “No, no, no.”

But why should he love disco?  He’s a baby.  He likes car keys and putting his foot in his mouth.  And yet, on a recent Saturday afternoon, The Husband and I took The Boy over to the Rock n’ Roll Hotel to party.  Old school.

Wait.  No.  I mean, pre-school.

Baby Loves Disco, for those not on the cutting edge of parenting, is the nightclub scene, sans the night.  And while there are plenty of “singles” in attendance, the vast majority are under four feet tall, and under parental supervision. Lined up on the bar: juice boxes and bowls of veggie booty, but the bar’s still there, and I am happy to report it was open for business!  And that was our first stop upon arriving at the Rock n’ Roll Hotel.

As we bellied up, I felt that old familiar sensation of thumping bass in the center of my chest.  A handsome guy bought me a drink and gave me the eye.  We communicated silently, as if we had been married for years, and moved, in sync, onto the dance floor.  Then, as if I were the star of my own 80s romantic comedy, the opening strains of Come On Eileen–my song, my anthem–began to play.  I gazed upward  into the glittering disco ball and saw, instead of my future, my past. What a bizarre collision of worlds this was turning out to be; a vaguely familiar old world and a constantly mystifying new world.

I looked over at The Husband, wearing his celebratory shiny shirt and the baby Bjorn and I thought… is The Boy sleeping?  Yup.  He had passed out entirely.  During “Come On Eileen.”

“This is not my child,” I told The Husband.

Later, in the bathroom, I appraised myself in the mirror.  I didn’t think I looked much older than I had in my clubbing days.  I still felt young.  A cute girl in a fabulous dress strolled up next to me and slicked on some lip gloss.  “I love your outfit,” I told her.  “Thanks,” she said, after deciding it was okay to talk to a stranger, “my grandma bought it for me at Dawn Price.”

When I returned from the restroom The Boy had drooled a large puddle on The Husband’s chest.  “Why are we here?” I demanded.  He smiled and took a sip of his beer. “Because you said we had to.”

We were there, I realized, because I wanted to combine and experiment with two powerful drugs: the prideful, warm, fuzzy feelings of motherhood and the unfettered confidence of a twenty-something shaking her groove thing.  In so doing, I had created an unrealistic expectation that somehow this boogie down memory lane would be fun for The Boy.  I was trying to share a profound nostalgic experience with someone whose idea of nostalgia is the diaper I just changed him out of.

The opening cords of ACDC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasted out of the DJ booth and memories of high school dances washed over me.  Then the DJ started calling out “Simon Says” instructions.  Patting our heads and hopping on one foot we left the building, climbed into our Delorean and headed back to the future.

Lest you think I’ve gotten old and soft, I should tell you I’ve already been back to the Rock n’ Roll Hotel.  At night.  With my lady friends.  And did we dance?  Hells yeah.  I only wish I could’ve brought my twenty-something ass with me.  Man, did that thing LOVE to disco.

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