In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stage Mother May I

Photo by ilco/

One thing missing from this week's dance recital rehearsals: stage moms.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Maybe you've seen commercials for the television show, Toddlers and Tiaras? Young children compete in pageants. Their moms look like momzillas--overbearing, trophy hunting pageant winner-wannabes who think the world revolves around their child.

I've been a room mom for Christa's dance class for three years now. Each dance class has at least two room moms--and please don't ask me to do the math. Just assume there are a lot of moms backstage looking after the kids.

Once we're all backstage, it's a team effort. We help out with makeup--even if we're not that group's room moms. Every mom has her own individual emergency "bag of tricks"--sewing kits, wet wipes, makeup remover, snacks, bobby pins. Side note: Bobby pins are gold during dress rehearsal and performance night. There's a share and share alike policy when it comes to emergency supplies.

There's been no "My child is the star of the show" attitude paraded around by any of the moms.

And that attitude plays out in the auditorium too. The kids can watch the other dancers perform when they aren't getting ready to go onstage. Everyone--and I mean everyone from the littlest dancers to the most advanced--are applauded and cheered.

Maybe a drama-mama will show up tonight.

I don't think so.

But I sure hope somebody brings some more bobby pins . . . the supply I bought disappeared during dress rehearsal yesterday!

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What are kids saying about kids' access to pornography?

I know, I know--we'd rather not think about uncomfortable topics like pornography.

But our kids are thinking about it.

Our kids are talking about it.

Our kids are looking at it.

So, go ahead and watch this video put together by Enough is Enough.

You may be a little uncomfortable.

But it's better that you're uncomfortable for a few minutes than that you remain ignorant about how pornography is affecting our kids--your kids.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

When I grow up I want to be . . . a dancer's mom!

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a dancer.
I grew up to be a dancer's mom.
Sure, I am known to dance in the kitchen with my husband. But that kind of dancing doesn't require costumes. Or makeup. Or practice, practice, practice.

All of my daughters took dance, but Christa is the one who stayed with it the longest. She's finishing her fourth year of dance.

Her studio, Barbara Ellis Studio of Dance, culminates the year with a performance at the Pikes Peak Center. Preparation for the recital involves rehearsal week--hours and hours at the recital hall.

For the past three years, I've volunteered as a room mom. I don't know why. At first, I felt like Christa was too young to just drop off at the door. Now--well, I just find myself saying, "Sure, I'll help."

A room mom is the equivalent of a bouncer, in the sense that I provide crowd control. The main difference between a room mom and a bouncer is that I provide snacks for talkative young dancers--and keep them occupied with games and books and DVDs played on my portable DVD player until it is their turn to perform on center stage.

As a room mom, I've also learned to apply stage makeup. The basic rule is to make young girls look like streetwalkers--heavy, heavy applications of foundation, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. Once they get on stage, it's amazing how the makeup tones down to normal. Off stage, well ... you just squint a lot.

While I'm applying makeup, I give basic instructions: Look down. Look up. Close your eyes. Open your eyes. Pucker.

And then I tell each girl she looks beautiful.

I watch them practice their dances. I hug Christa before she heads to the stage. I take lots of pictures.

It's all part of being a dancer's mom--all part of being Christa's mom.

And I wouldn't miss a minute of it.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

This Old Couch

Ten years ago I bought a "No More Kids" couch.

Rob and I had three teenagers. It was time to replace our beat-up couch with something nicer--a couch that wouldn't be climbed on, jumped on, spilled on by little kids. So we went couch shopping. You can imagine how much Rob enjoyed that. We ordered a matching leather couch and loveseat.

I was a happy woman.

A few months later, I was a woman brought to her knees by morning sickness. The mom of three teenagers and I'm pregnant?! The view of my unborn daughter's beating heart on an ultrasound monitor confirmed the reality: Rob and I were having a fourth child.

My "No More Kids" couch arrived two days after I found out I was pregnant. When the men hauled it off the truck and positioned it in my living room, I was upstairs in my bedroom. Actually, I was hanging over the edge of my bed, holding onto a blue plastic bucket, getting sick as a dog.

"Honey, the new couch is here," Rob called from downstairs.

"I." Heave. "Don't." Heave "Care."

Truth be told, I logged a lot of miles on that couch in the past 10 years--with my caboose kiddo Christa.

As a baby, Christa was never much of a napper. But if I laid on the couch and held her, she'd fall asleep in my arms--and I'd fall asleep holding her. We spent hours snuggled under blankets on the soft Italian leather.

We still do.

My "No More Kids" couch became "our" couch.

It's pretty beat up. Christa and her friends have climbed on that couch, jumped on it, spilled on it.

I'm thinking of getting a new couch.


But just not yet.

There's a few more good naps left in this one.

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