I Don't Have The Words

One of Hugmonkey's preschool (now kindergarten) friends lost his mother yesterday. We were friendly with, but not friends with, them so we didn't know that anything was wrong until a few days ago.

She'd been battling pancreatic cancer since December.

Her kids - her really sweet LITTLE kids - are 5 and 7.

They are a kind, loving family.

I feel like I've been kicked in the heart and all the reasons that I haven't been blogging suddenly don't matter.

If you can help her family, please go here.

If you'd like to help battle pancreatic cancer, you can visit the Lustgarten Foundation.

If all you can do is hug your loved ones tighter, I understand.


Things I Learned While I Wasn't Blogging

So I've had time to reflect during my hiatus. (That's what I'm gonna call it now. Like my blog is The Walking Dead or something.) Especially the last few days, while I was cleaning up kid vomit and letting my kids stare mindlessly at the screen because that's what I want to do when I feel crappy.

Their temperatures are lower today, so obviously the couch potato thing works. On viruses. Which my 3 years of Latin make me want to call "viri", but I don't because I realize that not everyone was a nerd in 7th grade.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, things I learned while I wasn't blogging.

  1. I hated my header. So I made a new one. What do you think?
  2. I hated my blog's entire look. 
  3. I hated what I had written on my about page. Actually, all the pages.
  4. I love not worrying about my pageviews.
  5. I love writing.
  6. I love having a clean and organized house (for the 15 minutes that it lasts). 
  7. Being a super-popular blogger can make you crazy. Not that this is a concern for me.
  8. I really meant it when I posted about stomping on the boxes
  9. I don't think people who just post a different coupon every day should call themselves "bloggers". 
  10. I love HersheyPark. 
  11. I love Deep Creek Lake.
  12. White wine no longer gives me a sinus headache. 
  13. But 5 glasses of it and two gin and tonics still give me a hangover.
  14. Canva and Prezi are really cool. 
  15. I need to write more for other web sites. 
  16. I need to be better about editing and revising. 
  17. It's actually easier for me to work out early in the morning than it is for me to write coherently. 
  18. My suspicion that sitting still during the day without a computer in front of me would lead to unplanned naps has been confirmed. 
  19. It's really fun to just go do stuff with your family without mentally planning blog posts during the experience.
  20. I missed reading my favorite blogs, though. 




I was going to explain how I got way behind with my blogging due to end of the school year stuff going on constantly.

And then I was going to explain how I got way behind with my blogging because the local pool opened and my children are part fish.

I was also going to mention my anxiety about Ironflower finishing primary school (our town has one preschool - third school and one fourth-eighth school) and Hugmonkey finishing preschool and be all, "OMG, I'm freaking out because my babies are growing up SO FAST".

But to be honest, I think I just needed a break.

A more responsible blogger probably would have waited until now to take her break, seeing as we're about to go away for a family reunion and a trip to a national dance competition (Note to potential burglars: a violent felon is housesitting for us, so please don't try to steal our one flat screen TV). But as any of my elementary school teachers would be happy to tell you (if they were still alive, I mean), I'm not especially responsible.

So I took my break and I'm not entirely sure that it's over.

Yeah, technically I'm blogging now and thus one could say that my break is over.

But since I'm not planning on restarting my typical blogging schedule and all the stuff that goes with it quite yet, as far as I'm concerned I'm still on break.

The lack of pinnable picture (or, you know, coherent thought) in this post should make that clear.

Continued approximately two weeks later: 

Our vacation was lovely. I should tell you about it.

But not today.

Today I'm still thinking about how this blog may change and how it may stay the same. Today I'm still trying to get my house in order. Today I'm still battling the massive fatigue that has started to encroach on my life in the last two months. Today I'm getting blood work, which will hopefully show that my (and my doctor's) suspicion of hypothyroidism is correct and can be easily fixed by medication. Today I'm just saying that I'm still around.


Dear Future Dance Mom

Dear Future Dance Mom,

     Five years ago, I was you. It felt weird, putting lipstick on my little girl and leaving her backstage with acquaintances at best. For three hours. At least. The whole recital process seemed so daunting. My little girl kept saying that dance was hard work. I was worried that I was some kind of pushy stage mom. I thought maybe we should quit. Of course, when I picked her up from the recital, all she could talk about was how much fun she had had backstage. In fact, she may have enjoyed that part even more than being on stage.
      And every year, even as we did gymnastics and theater and swimming and Irish Dance and beading and soccer, she wanted to keep taking dance. I think, some years, it was just because she loved her teacher. But that was okay. I think dance is a lifelong exercise option, like swimming and martial arts, so I was happy that she was doing it, whatever the reason. Each year, the recital got less daunting. I realized that the backstage volunteers were not only watching my kid, they were rooting for her. I noticed how the older girls encouraged the younger ones. I noticed my kid being excited as she mastered each new step and stretch.
      Suddenly this year I was the one introducing myself to moms of little girls, assuring them I would help with tap shoes and snacks and bathroom breaks during one of the recitals. Suddenly I was not only proud of my kiddo in her numerous dances, I was impressed by her skills. Suddenly I was not only entrusting my daughter's care to all these fabulous backstage moms and friends, I was entrusting her many costume changes, hair styles and make up looks. And it was great.
     But I do have a few tips, or suggestions, on how to prepare for becoming a dance mom. Especially if you think your daughter may want to join a dance team or company in the next couple of years:

  • Learn to sew. I will never forgive myself for taking graphic arts instead of sewing in junior high. Sure, it SOUNDED cooler and more feminist, but no one has asked me to silkscreen anything in the last 30 years. Can't say the same about sewing. 
  • Just start carrying safety pins and Advil in your purse now. You'll thank me later.
  • Perfect a completely neutral facial expression in front of a mirror. Now make sure you can use it when you're terribly nervous or filled with anxiety. 
  • Start socking money away for dance gear, especially shoes. So many different kinds of shoes. 
                                                                                           A Current Dance Mom