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Entries in parenting (15)


Life after Newtown

Walk to school day

Today as I was driving the girls to school (something I rarely do unless I have an early errand to run or we are running late) we noticed the vice principal hanging out on the corner with the 5th grade safety patroles.  The girls pointed him out and we all went, "Hmm".

Another block (we only live about 3 blocks away) we noticed another school employee, the PE teacher, then still closer we saw the school janitor on the black top area.

"Look Mom!" said the girls.

"Oh Dear God" said my head filled with fear.

In a matter of seconds I registered this piece of information in two ways.

1) My mouth said, "Oh they are probably just coming out to check on things once in a while now."

2) My brain was thinking, "What happened? Did a child get abducted? Did someone call in a threat? OMG It's a FRIDAY! Was there another school shooting? Are-they-looking-for-someone-is-everyone-ok-are-why-hasn't-anyone-called-me-I-didn't-get-an-Amber-alert-text-WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AND WHY HASN'T ANYONE TOLD ME!!!"

I dropped the girls off and drove straight to the intersection where we usually cross and stopped literally in the middle, rolled down the window and asked our trusty crossing guard, "OK. Give it to me. What is going on?"

She explained,

"Oh nothing. There was a little incident with an elderly couple and a dog. Everyone is fine. Everyone is ok.

I promise."

But the look she gave me, we BOTH knew what I had been thinking. She could smell the fear on me.

I drove away shaking and I burst into tears the way you do when the adrenalin rush is over after an accident. Because while I don't live in Newtown, I did grow up one town over.

Even more than that, I am a parent of elementary age kids. Every weekday I walk them, or let them walk themselves, and I have to trust that the most awful, horrid, terrible things that can possibly happen in this world will not happen to them. At least not today.

I wonder when the families in Newtown will feel like things are normal again?

When will any of us?

Or will we ever?


I will not live in fear

I wrote this on Facebook this morning after learning that the schools in my Connecticut hometown were on lock down again, after a suspicious person was seen at a train station. I know the police and administrators in that small town want to make the community feel safe. Our own school system here in Maryland had a police presence this morning, the first day back to school after Friday's tragic events. But all I kept thinking, I cannot live like this. I cannot live in fear.  And that's when this spilled out of my fingers. For whatever it's worth, I'm going to keep coming back to this in the coming year.

I refuse to live in fear. I will accomplish this by embracing every moment, for better or worse. I will let those I love know it. I will focus on what matters. I will be present yet respect the future. I will keep an inventory of all I have to be thankful for. I will live with gratitude.


Tell Me I am Not Becoming 'That Mom'

I have never been 'That Mom'

I've never asked for special consideration for my kids.

I've always respected the decision of the teacher, instructor, camp director, etc.

I've let my kids fight their own fights, fall down, even fail at things.

But I'm this close to saying something to someone at the place where one of my girls is taking an acting class.

$300 and Three Lines

Weekly acting classes at the fancy academy cost $300.

That isn't, as far as activities go, an exhorbitant amount of money. I know that.

My daughter seems to enjoy the class each week, though she has complained about the younger kids, "not taking it seriously." 

As her first official acting class, I suppose she is getting experience developing new skills, right?

So this week when she was given her assignment for the play I was curious to see how many lines I'll have to help her memorize. (A little something you may not have known is that when I turned 30 I took acting classes at a theater in downtown DC. This makes me an experienced thespian in my book).


Three lines.

She is one of 4 Narrators.

So, it's not like it's bad enough to be the Narrator. I mean, does the Narrator even ACT? But to have to share the role with three other kids while every single other kid in the class (even the young, annoying ones) have roles with fun dress-up clothes and...LOTS of LINES?

Well that just seems wrong.

Were it the school play, I wouldn't be annoyed.

Were it a real production where you audition, I wouldn't be annoyed.

But I'm paying for her to memorize and perfect her acting technique with 3 lines?

That's $100 per line!

I want to say something, but I don't want to be 'That Mom'.

I want to suggest they find a play with enough roles so there doesn't have to be 4 narrators.

I want my daughter to have a role that requires "a fancy dress, heals and jewelry" so I can see her smile wide with pride and excitement.

But I don't want to be 'That Mom'.

So, instead of becoming "That Mom" who tries to bend the rules, I'm going to invoke my own rule.

The narrator role calls for her to wear a plain, black dress. My rule is that every simple black dress needs heels and jewelry and other fancy accessories. She will smile with pride and excitement and she will deliver her lines with perfection. All three of them.



Anyone else "married" to the swim team?

Last week pushed every swim team mom I know just about to the brink. There were 4 meets (A, B and relays), a pancake breakfast, and Family Fun Night in addition to the daily practices.

It's enough to drive a gal to bring concealed bevies to the pool.

Or take the Disney theme a little too far...

It's great exercise and I love the team spirit.

The Twofer are not 100% in love with it though.

They like it, they love doing it with their friends, they just don't love the meets.

Especially the ones that get us up at 6:30 am on a Saturday.

Here is how I capture the mood on Instagram.

"7:00 am Saturday morning #swimteam. @MichaelPhelps mother is a saint."


Twincident #158 Sleeping Alone

I'm not sure if it's an age thing, or a vacation thing, or what but Em asked to sleep in a separate room last night.

She wanted her space, I get that.

She wanted to put her clothes away in a dresser and straighten up...I get that.

She didn't want to bump into someone in the same bed, I get that too.

What I didn't 'get' was the significance of what she was asking.

It wasn't until bedtime when El was looking REALLY sad and said,

"Why does Em want to sleep in another room from me?"

that it dawned on me..

They have NEVER slept all alone in a room at night. EVER.

To most people this is nothing.

But to a twin who has shared a room every single night of her life?

This is a milestone.

Good thing we hit this milestone at the beach where the sun and fresh air and activity wiped everyone out. They both slept soundly.