I’m pretty confident I could never make it as a dance mom. All three of my girls have taken dance at different times but none of them have passionately thrown themselves into it the way some kids do.
I know children have packed afternoons with jazz, tap and ballet. Their closets are jammed with glittery recital outfits. Dance really is their life. But my girls have floated in and out of this world.
This past school year, my daughter decided to take acrodance. It’s some kind of combination of acrobatics and dance which seemed like a good fit for her. Plus the monthly fee was reasonable and there was a recital at the end. Perfect.
But I started to feel like I must be in some kind of hidden camera show about ridiculous dance fees because they kept asking for more and more money.
First, the costume fee. Which I expected would be laced with precious gems based on the price. Then the recital fees. Then I still had to buy additional tickets at the price of $27.50 each. (Out of principle, I refused to buy one for my 3 year old son because his appreciation for dance is the same as his appreciation for nap time.)
In total, I spent — . I have no idea how much I spent!! I refused to add it up. Especially because by the end, my kid wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm. She kept saying, “I can’t wait for the recital to be over, so I can just be on summer vacation.”
But I was still excited to see her perform. And to witness that very expensive recital outfit glittering on the big stage.
And then a friend said to me, “You know the recital is four hours, right?”
Look at the number of performances…
It ended up being 3 hours and 45 minutes.
I loved watching my daughter for 2 1/2 minutes of that 3 hours and 45 minutes.
And many of the other performances were adorable. And some were really impressive. These kids could dance!
But I spent a good chuck of the time in the lobby watching my 3 year old open and shut a stage door.
And here’s the thing. You can’t leave early. They don’t want the place emptying out before it’s finished, so they hold your kid hostage until the end. A few parents retrieved their children early because they had a bar mitzvah or other engagement but most of us were completely trapped.
Once the final curtain fell, I clapped exuberantly.
And a short 20 minutes later, I finally got my kid back.
So proud of her. So proud of me for surviving. So proud of my 3 year old for not pinching his finger in that stage door. Really hoping we can take a break from dance.
This is an emotional time of year.
Kids are graduating, everyone is saying good bye for the summer, children suddenly seem older and you realize that very soon, your kids will be staring at you ALL DAY.
On the upside, you finally don’t care if they bring a bread sandwich to school for lunch (that’s bread with nothing inside) with a side of chips and a side of pretzels and a side of goldfish.
I hope these kids are getting enough carbs.
My twins just graduated. I can’t believe they are already heading off to college.
(You know what? Someone just informed me that my twins only graduated form Kindergarten and aren’t eligible for college. I’m going to do some investigating.)
The teachers told the kindergarteners that they were allowed to go home with their parents after the graduation ceremony.
THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ENDED AT 9:30 AM.
No one was going home with me. I told my twins they would have the good fortune of staying for the whole day which they found distressing. Umm… children, you are playing with your friends, not memorizing the Gettysburg Address. Although I’m totally find if that’s on the agenda too.
Maybe my first kid could have convinced me to take her home. Certainly not the 3rd and 4th.
I have a lot of camp on the horizon for my children.
My older daughters don’t want to spend the whole summer in camp because they need “down time.” First of all, camp is downtime. Second, there is plenty of downtime after camp. And third, my kids don’t even know what to do with downtime.
Every time I tell them to put the phones away and do something creative that does not involve a screen, they look at me blankly.
But eventually my girls take out the gel pens and those cool coloring books that have been sweeping the nation and get to work. And my son Chase takes out his nerf gun to fight pirates and foes and unsuspecting glassware on the counters.
During the last week of school, I try not to think too much about the passage of time. I try not to get misty eyed at the sad country songs accompanying graduation slide shows. I try not to think that time keeps moving until one day these kids will really kiss me goodbye and head off on their own lives.
I can’t think about it that way.
I have to think about it as simply another school year. Where they learned. Cried. Fought with their friends. Made up with their friends. Grew a little. Or a lot. They were inspired. And sometimes bored. They were kind. And sometimes not. But in the end, they hopefully leave a little smarter and a bit more grown up and maybe even better people.
It’s one school year in a lifetime.
And now we move on to the next.
I don’t take a lot of professional photos of of my kids. I know many of you do because I see them on Facebook. And they look gorgeous.
But we don’t do it because we take some pretty good photos on our own and because I immediately get anxious the minute a professional photographer is hired.
Will the kids cooperate? Will they stay clean? Will everyone smile? Will anyone start to cry? Will my arms look weird? Will my hair suddenly frizz and end up looking like this..
And the last time we took family photos, my two oldest daughters absolutely refused to smile and well, the twins didn’t exactly turn it on either. So I smiled extra hard for all of them!
But we were on the Jersey shore this weekend with all of Rick’s family and my mother in law wanted to take professional photos on the beach. Which sounded like it could be amazing. My fingers were crossed.
As soon as we got out there, 6 year old Harlowe started crying. Because she apparently can’t take the professional photo pressure either.
In fact, in one shot, I had to crouch down in the background so I could hold her hand while she got her picture taken.
Then it was time to for my sister in law’s family to get their photo done. And the photographer told them to climb on top of each other’s backs. Seriously. There was a lot of accidental hair pulling and near strangulation.
Yes, that’s my husband Rick holding them up.
I wonder if his bum will make the final cut? This seems a little crazy, right?
Apparently, these professionals know what they are doing.
And yes, my hair frizzed. And yes, not everyone liked their arms or the fact that they were sometimes squinting or their pants got wet in the waves. But who cares. Because we got this…
This is a big day! No, I’m not sending any of my kids off to college (although if you know any colleges that start at age 11, please message me directly).
I am in a new anthology. That is out today!! It’s called, I Just Want to Be Perfect, and it was put together by New York Times best selling author and blogger extraordinaire Jen Mann.
I, along with 36 other very funny ladies, write about the cult of perfection.
Whether it’s the hot new diet that involves only eating what you can forage from the floor of your minivan, trying to find a flattering swimsuit under the harmful rays of department store fluorescent lighting or Botox that has gone terribly wrong, we’ve all tried something to be more perfect.
And sometimes we fail–spectacularly. These are those stories.
You will laugh. You will wince. You will feel so much better about your own life.
You can also find it on my Amazon author page. (I know! I have an Amazon author page. And you thought free shipping was the best thing to happen on Amazon.)
After you read this kick ass, super humiliating book (for us, not you), please give us an Amazon review.
Thank you! xo
I was recently out to dinner with two friends in New York City. We ate at Craft bar and then one of my friends said, “Let’s go to the Gansevoort.”
The Gansevoort is a swanky hotel with two locations in NYC… the meatpacking district and on Park Avenue.
This idea seemed a little insane because very young and beautiful people tend to hang out at the Gansevoort. And we are not exactly so young anymore. Although we still got that beauty thing (despite the occasional horrific selfie which I blame on very poor lighting.)
But in life, when something seems a bit insane, it’s probably a good idea to try it. So we headed up to the Gansevoort.
As soon as we got there, we saw the velvet rope. I wanted to immediately flee because I was afraid of this…
Remember in Knocked up, when Leslie Mann and the pregnant Katherine Heigl got denied entrance into a club? And ended up like this…
Yup, that’s what I was feared. Sitting on the curb in tears.
But inexplicably we pressed on.
There were some guys ahead of us in line. The bouncer explained that they would need to get bottle/table service to come in. That’s when you pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a table and a bottle of alcohol that would cost about $40 bucks in a liquor store. But hey, they throw in the mixers!
The guys in front of us apparently decided not to go for the bottle service and exited the line.
It was our turn. I considered giving the bouncer my best, “I don’t care if you let us in but you should because we are really super fun and I love your bouncer muscles and your super sleek suit and why don’t you just push that velvet rope aside and lets us in” look.
But instead I just smiled and said, “We’re here for a drink.”
And he said, “Come on in.”
That was it.
We took an elevator up to the bar where there was lots of people milling around and a rooftop bar that was closed for some reason. This was sad because it looks like this…
We surveyed the scene, considered getting a drink and then decided we were done.
As we left, there was now a very long line of people behind the velvet rope. I can only imagine they were taking photos of us and posting them on social media with captions like, “Look at these beauties leaving! Are they celebrities?!! #NYC #Gansevoort #WhereIsTMZ?”
We headed to an Irish pub a few blocks a way. It was very chill and perfect. With great dim lighting.
We sipped our drinks and laughed about our evening. And we could take comfort in knowing… we still got it.