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.)