I grew up in Austin, Texas, live music capital of the country, so it was humbling to realize a few years ago that by far I’d seen local toddler band The Sippy Cups live more times than any other band my whole life. In fact, I had to admit they were perhaps my all time favorite. I might not win coolest taste in music, but I know what I like. The 6 or 7 times I took my godson to their shows were magical, and unlike adult music, I was never self conscious dancing to the beat. Being an adult in a mosh pit of 4-year-olds brings some advantages.

Like many bands before them The Sippys have fallen on hard times. I lost track of the breakups and reunions, but their golden age is over. I thought I’d never love another toddler band again, but our kids came to us fans of the Fresh Beat Band.¬†While they seemed as phony and put-together as the Monkees or Milli Vanilli, I quickly realized that it’s the lover, not the beloved, that counts. The kids love their pop songs with all their hearts, and over enough silly dance sessions I found that I, too, could love again.

We just saw the Fresh Beat Band live with 3,000 others in San Francisco, and what a night! Perhaps you’ll be embarrassed for me to learn that I may have danced more than the kids did, but what pure joy to realize that, despite what I thought in junior high, it’s how you feel, not how you look, that counts when you’re shaking your booty in a crowd. And the kids had a wonderful time, bopping to the songs, amazed that actual people sing them.

After the show we went down the street to San Francisco’s Tonga Room, with a crush of 5-year-olds, and took over the dance floor by the Tiki lagoon. Every twenty minutes there’s a rainstorm, and the Hawaiian band plays in a boat in the middle of the water. We had Mai Tais (and virgin Mai Tais) and faux-polynesian appetizers, and the band leader welcomed us all to “Chuck E Cheese night” at the Tonga. I think he meant it in a good way. Keeping the kids up too late on a school night never felt so good.

I probably should worry more why such mediocre music makes me so happy, and why I’ve enjoyed the concerts more than any live music, ever. But that would be foolish. Instead I’m thankful for feeling like a rockstar, dancing with my kids while they’re still not embarrassed to dance with me, enjoying their pure manic joy. And mine.