Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stage Mom!!

I survived the recital. Actually, I loved every minute of it. Lily had such a good time. I was worried that she'd be shy on stage. She is a ham at home, but very shy in large groups. I even asked her if she felt nervous and she replied "Mooom, I didn't raise my hand for shy!" She really didn't. She got on stage and may not have done every step perfectly, but she was close and most importantly she smiled like she was the queen of the world! I have been waiting to see her confidence match her ability (does that make any sense?).

I was lucky to be stage mom with an awesome group. We were crazy prepared with snacks, entertainment, and of course my "Armageddon bag." Yup, big shocker, they needed it, I had it: band aids, anti itch cream, clear nail polish, tights, hair pins, safety pins..... I am so glad that I was hanging out with other down to earth moms who enjoyed tapping into our inner divas for a short while. I can now rock an awesome bun, tie multiple tap shoes, and change tights rapid fire! I am also capable of saying things like "Lily quit wiggling your loose tooth, you'll mess up your lipstick!" At least I laughed at myself after I said it. I can also take half a dozen wiggling dancers to the bathroom, help them into and out of costumes, and keep them from dancing in the small puddle of water on the bathroom floor without loosing my cool.
Yup, Lily and I are in deep now. I'll be even more ready for next year's recital! We have big plans!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Today was it: dance picture day! The day that I'd been dreading. How much makeup? Can I make a decent bun? Why are my hippy dippy tendencies slowly being swallowed up by my suburban momness? Why do I care? Why do I fight it? It has been suggested that I tend to make simple things complicated and am my own worst enemy. Perhaps.

Friday was the last day of school and I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it had been one heck of a year. There has been way too much sickness, way too much angst, and an obscene amount of exhaustion on all fronts. Caroline summed it up best "The last month of school it all goes down hill. The house falls apart and we all just try to survive. Then school lets out and you put it all back together." Part of that putting together is a crazy amount of annual doctors appointments. The timing is convenient, the bills all at once are not. We descended upon the eye doctors office en mass; leaving having purchased two pairs of glasses, new lenses, and contacts for Caroline.

Of course with contacts come makeup. I don't mind make up. I wear a little of it and like the way it looks. It hides subtle flaws (bags under my eyes, thin brows) and enhances what I like (almond shaped green eyes and full lips). I am more of a nut about skin care, sunscreen, lotion, face washing every night, I do it all. My great grandmother, Caroline's namesake, was stunning and it was because of her milky skin. I want the same. If she had lived to see me get older, I am sure that she would have taught me her secrets. Instead, I learned from Seventeen magazine and some girlfriends. I have always wanted to teach the girls myself. I want them to avoid that "street walker look" that is favored today and to learn how to enhance what they have. I am kind of excited. After Caroline is used to the contacts (two weeks), I am taking her out to buy what she needs/wants.

It seems like all of this has brought out my inner diva. I woke up early today to get ready for dance pictures at 11:45. I followed all of the advice that I had been given and made a darn good bun. I used enough hair spray and gel to make a Robert Palmer girl blush. Lily really wanted makeup and I plan on using it for the recital, not because I want to be on "Tantrums and Tiarras," but because I know stage lights wash you out. For today, I figured a little blush, clear mascara, and pink lipstick would be fun. She loved it! We got to the studio right on time and no one was there. I checked the schedule and the pictures were at 1:45. In my haste to do it right, I'd messed up the times. Luckily my kids are used to this quirk of mine and we adjusted. The ultimate outcome is I can make a bun that lasts all day. Score!! I can check that worry off of my list of absurd worries.

Lily loved everything about the photo session. I have to say, I have loved meeting the other moms. Yes, there was a touch of stage mom with tutu adjusting and lipstick reapplication or in my case adjusting her leotard to cover her tush. But there was just as much camaraderie. We gathered together waiting our turn, congratulating each other on hair and make up. We joked about trying to scrub off kool aid mustaches, cover rug burns, and finding tights without ripped knees. My friend gave me her extra tickets for the recital, I helped her get her daughter ready when she arrived late. There is an effortless poetry in mothers helping each other. We just know what to do without asking. Someone is always there to hold your toddler or baby for a minute, to dig in her purse for whatever you forgot, or to make you laugh when you feel like the world's worst mother. I have talked a lot about competition between mothers, but I don't say enough about this. It is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mother Lion Strikes Again

I picked Lily up from school on Friday with a big red mark/burn?? on her face. The poor girls who run the after school care took one look at my face and quickly informed me that the school said they'd called me. All I could think was "The hell they did! What happened? After everything that Lily has been through this year, they should have called me. and (this is embarrassing) Oh crap, her recital is in 2 weeks and she looks like a prize fighter." All I said was "I'm sure it was a misunderstanding." I charged out to the car and tried to figure out what it was. All Lily could tell me is she was singing and then her face started burning and the nurse gave her ice. I was tired, I'd had a long day and I probably wasn't the most coherent person in the world at that point. I called Rob livid and he decide to come home as soon as possible while I took her to the clinic. I was supposed to be going to my school's dance and babysitting, but was able to call someone to cover for me. Of course after the fact, this sounds so calm and reasonable, I'll leave out the swearing from me, the crying, the fretting, and the accidental butt dialing of my friend as I'm trying to back down the driveway, you know all of the things that make it a classic "Melissa moment."

The nurse had no idea what it could be. She thought that it also looked like a burn and gave me burn cream(which a friend later advised me not to use on her face because it can cause scarring). Rob met us and I guess was expecting to see a flesh eating virus. He was also tired and felt that I'd over reacted. I don't think that fathers feel the same outrage at seeing their children maimed.

I took Caroline to my school dance and was able to see my kiddos. Rob went home with Lily. By the time I got home, he and I were too tired to be civil to each other and the evening didn't end well.

This morning, I couldn't sleep and woke up early. Lily got up with me and I started practicing buns for her recital. I am one of the class moms. Which means I'll be wrangling little girls and fixing torn costumes, ripped tights, and fallen buns. Lily was beyond thrilled with her hair. NoVa might not be truly in the south, but I think my ice tea sipping, big hair loving little girl is on her way to becoming a true southern belle. She looked at her burn and declared "I think it looks like an upside down heart. Let's pretend I got face painted." We also had a hilarious exchange that went like this: "Mom, didn't they teach you to do buns in school?" "My school doesn't teach hair dressing, honey, I teach first grade." "Nooo, Mom, in college!" "They don't teach you how to do hair in college." "Well, why not?!" Nothing keeps Lily down. I REALLY need to take a lesson from her.

PS I know the hair looks more 60's deb than ballerina, but it's a start.

PPS We checked the home voice mail this morning and the nurse had called the house. It was a differnt nurse than who'd I've usually dealt with. I don't know why she thoguth a county employee would have been at home, but anywho, it's all done now.