Thursday, October 7, 2010

Balancing Ballet

Okay, so I've missed a few Thursdays, but I have a really good excuse: ballet. "Ballet?" you say. "As in, tutus and inhuman displays of grace and flexibility?!" Yes, ballet. (Only, minus the tutus, and severely lacking in grace and flexibility...)

I just finished my third Thursday morning class of adult beginner ballet. It's been a dream of mine for several years, which is funny, because I'm so not a ballerina. Growing up, my sister was the beautiful, skinny, girl-y ballerina. I was the downhill ski-racer. Enough said. My thunder-thighs are excellent for many things; pretty pas-de-bourrees is not one of them. But that's kind of the point.

As mothers, especially mothers juggling careers and/or school and goodness knows what else, it is easy to fall into patterns of what we "know" and what we consider ourselves to be good at. Children suffer the perils of being labeled all the time, but what about their parents? Have we labeled ourselves? Do the labels we bear get passed on to our children? All too often, yes. Everyday we challenge our children to do things they don't know how to do, but how can we, if we don't challenge ourselves?

I find there to be a common belief, among moms especially, that motherhood must be completely "about the kids." Sure, our children are our number one priorities, but how important is it for our children to see us trying new things, learning new skills and developing skills we already have? VERY important, says I. Being a mother doesn't have to mean abandoning our passions for the sake of full-time taxi driving, lunch making, and home-work assisting. I think balance makes for happy families.

... and plies and releves make for sore calves. (Excuse the lack of accents.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sniffles, Coughs, and Self-Indulgence

First week down. Homework done? Check. Excitement about school extended past the first week? Check. Matching mother/daughter colds? Check. Awww, isn't that cute? Yeah, welcome to the germs of preschool.

I phoned the school yesterday to ask if my daughter should still attend when she clearly has a cold. "She's been sick for a few days and is completely her usual self now, but is definitely still coughing and sniffling," I explain. "Does she have a fever?" they ask. "No." "Diarrhea, vomiting?" "No, no - it's just a cold." They laugh. "If we didn't let kids come to school with a cough and a sniffle, no one would be here."
Great! I think ... ?

Time to stock-up on vitamin D. Here's hoping that other parents have been nagging about the elbow cough as much as I have. And, here's hoping that my nagging will actually pay-off in my absence.

Perhaps a day of quiet studying will help me recover from my cold. Being a student really is so self-indulgent. Full-time students (myself included at one time) love to work the pity: so much studying, so much reading, so little sleep, so little food. Two words: yeah right. How about: sleeping in, reading at coffee shops, engaging in discussions with peers, having time to self-reflect/ponder the problems of the world, etc., oh, and being master of your own schedule--no one else to work around. Really, it's what I dream of doing on vacation.

Don't get me wrong, having a family and a career blows the stinky-socks off of inhabiting a stuffy cell called a library while attempting to make sense of the world through a stack of incomprehensible academic rhetoric only to explain one's life work through more academic rhetoric that the average person could never hope to understand. The personal sacrifices necessary to having a family are far outweighed by the rewards. I would and will never trade relationships for letters after my name, no matter how much I pretend to justify them by their claims of helping society.

Nevertheless, having the opportunity--for it really is an incredible opportunity--to spend time studying while being a mother, wife, etc., feels self-indulgent. I don't know that I, or any other eighteen to twenty-two-year-old for that matter, ever appreciated this opportunity as much as I do now.

Hooray for student-slash-parents! Hooray for books and learning and preschool and crayons and story-time and text books. Hooray for balance! Not-so-hooray for headaches and sniffly noses. Anyway, here's to a day of self-indulgent studying ... and Advil.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Day of School

I couldn't decide what was more important: taking a picture of my daughter, ready with new shoes, new hair-cut and a "I'm so grown-up" grin, or actually getting her to her first day of school on time. In the end, I managed both.

Here I am, as never before, with the whole day to myself. I hope she's having fun ...
"Aurora goes to school while Mama works on school." Yes. Can you see how hard I'm working? Blogging = procrastination? Well, yes, perhaps, but less so when your education is in professional communication and you dream of one day being a writer. The cloud-filled sky of the rainy west coast: not the limit.

I have fourteen hours over two days to get a week's worth of school work done. My six-plus-year career as a music teacher/entrepreneur is entering its coda. Goodness knows what lies around the corner -- a pair of dirty pajamas, actually.

I hope she likes her lunch, and I hope she remembers where the bathrooms are.
I miss you Aurora.

Hello Communications 345!

P.S. Dear Google: Please make the formatting of Blogger posts recognize the use of the em dash, thank you.