Something has been missing all week. Someone actually…two someones. Our oldest two sons have been at summer camp this week which is the first time half of the children have been away at the same time. It’s been interesting to see our third son step into the role of oldest for the week. He’s been extremely helpful and attentive to his sister. He’s enjoyed being the leader instead of the one who tags along with whatever his older siblings want... [Read More]Read more
Each year I make a short list of books to read, places to visit and a new thing to learn. I manage to finish the book list and cross off places we visited. Then there’s the thing to learn. For three years, the new thing has remained the same: take a ballet class. It sits at the bottom of the list with me making no attempts to make it a reality.
The excuses piled up. I’m almost 40, surely too old for ballet. There isn’t any time with the kids activities. I’m probably not going to be any good at it. On and on it went with no truth to the excuses.
I’m not too old. I know there are ways to schedule things if they are important enough. I’m not thinking of becoming a ballerina. My goal is simply having a better understanding of the dance world my daughter loves.
A couple months ago I stopped making excuses and asked my daughter’s dance teacher about the possibility of taking an adult ballet class. Fast forward to now, week three of my summer dance class. There are several moms taking the class in all kinds of shapes, sizes and ages. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. I’m asking my body to move in ways it hasn’t had to in decades. Splits anyone? There’s terminology to master in French, which I don’t speak. It’s nerve-wrecking to do turns across the room with a wall of mirrors in front of you and your classmates watching. There’s camaraderie there with my dance friends as we each work on training our bodies to do something new. I’m far outside of my comfort zone, but enjoy learning a new skill and improving. I draw the line at the leotard and tutu my daughter desperately wants me to wear to class. T-shirts and yoga pants for me.
Our three sons play sports I’ve played before and I still attempt to play with them. I know what it’s like to play a basketball game or suffer the tired muscles after a long practice. I understand the terms they use and what’s happening on the field and in the gym. Dance is a different story. Our daughter dances all the time and has since she was a toddler. It’s her passion, and the learning curve is steep for this mama. I’m constantly learning about dance gear and which brands are more reliable and where to purchase things for the best price. I have much to learn about mothering a dancer.
The idea of an adult ballet class came from wanting to understand what my daughter loves. Her glissade looks effortless, and I know now that it takes work to make it look easy. There’s a lot to think about from your shoulders to hands to hips to toes. I have a better understanding of what ballet class feels like for her, and she loves that I share this with her. She reminds me to stretch and has me practice through the dining room correcting me as I go. I stopped making excuses and deepened a bond with my daughter as well as learning something new. What new thing have you learned lately?
I had a sweet sticker book when I was in elementary school. I collected stickers and carefully placed them in the book, sort of like a sports card collection, but with smelly and puffy stickers. Three summers ago, when we realized the Wyoming Office of Tourism had a free souvenir sticker program available to travelers, I knew we’d have to collect them all. The stickers have a vintage look with muted earth-tone colors and artwork themed for an area in... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. I have a box of plastic dinosaur figures in various sizes in our basement. Each of the boys went through a dinosaur-loving phase during their toddler years. While they no longer play with the dinosaur figures, they remain intrigued by fossils. The love of fossils comes from... [Read More]Read more
I’ll be limping across the finish line this week on the last day of school wrung-out and emotionally drained. Our 5th grader has had A YEAR. I cannot tell you anything specific academically he learned because academics took a backseat this year to some serious life lessons. There have been difficulties in the classroom with another student. There have been laws to study and bureaucracy to wade through. There have been meetings and emails…so many meetings and emails. We seriously... [Read More]Read more
I have to stop looking at my social media feeds for the next two weeks. I have several friends, in and out of state, who already are on summer break from school, and I am jealous. The end is in sight for me but not close enough. We have eight school days remaining this school year. The kids are excited for the field trips and picnics and less-rigorous final days of school, but I’m over it. I want to wake-up... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Petrified Forest National Park is located near Holbrook, Arizona and rivals Wyoming for ridiculous wind. The wind wasn’t mentioned in any of my spring break planning materials. Trust me when I say there should be some sort of asterisk footnote in travel guides warning people that wind... [Read More]Read more
The month of May is when I’m in high-mama gear. Four school-aged children means that on any given weekday from now until the last day of school, someone has a field trip or track or junior Olympics or an assembly or a concert. Some days it’s multiple children requesting a parent make an appearance. If field tripper was a profession, that would be my career in May. The build-up to the end of the school year starts at the beginning... [Read More]Read more
Today our third son celebrates his ninth birthday. I cannot believe he’s already nine, but also feel he’s older than those short nine years. He’s a joy-filled, sports-loving boy who was born at a time when his mama needed him most. Ten years ago I was pregnant for the third time and over-the-moon excited to add to our family. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy I experienced cramping and was placed on bed rest. Two days later the cramping turned to... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. If there’s a theme to our vacations, besides national parks, it’s canyons. There’s not a canyon rim hike we haven’t enjoyed, from the Grand Canyon to Canyonlands to Yellowstone. We love the views across a canyon and peering into the depths below. We’ve watched videos and viewed... [Read More]Read more
Mothering has been a series of surreal moments lately. Last week, I traveled with our oldest and a large group of his 7th grade classmates two hours from our hometown to the University of Wyoming, my alma mater. UW is the only four-year institute in Wyoming. Both Craig and I graduated from there. Much has changed in the decades since we called Laramie and the university home. I was giddy leading up to this field trip. We’ve taken our kids... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. When anyone inquired where we were headed for spring break this year, I answered northern Arizona, which translated as Grand Canyon to everyone who asked. While Grand Canyon was on our list of stops over break, it was just one of several. The Flagstaff area is home... [Read More]Read more