Sunday, May 23, 2010

Proud and busy Mamma

I could not be prouder of my kids.  They never cease to amaze me.  Last week my daughter was confessing to me that she thought she had been lazy this school year and that she could have done more.  Well, who could not say as much about themselves?  Yet later in the week she was called forward during the awards ceremony at her school because of her status as one of the top 20 GPAs in her grade.  I did a bit of math and her top 20 GPA relative to the number of kids in her class puts her in the top 3%. - Yeah uh huh, that's my definition of Lazy.  I wonder what she could have done if she had tried harder?

My son, no slouch, despite rarely having homework (he insists he gets it done in school before he leaves) seems to be getting his share of work done too.  He walked away from his awards ceremony with a perfect attendance certificate, a certificate for Excellence in Math and one for Outstanding in Science!

Last week was the last Music Booster meeting that I will attend from a seat - next month I step into the role of Booster President.  My sister likes to tease me and remind me I could have turned it down, while my husband reassures me I'll do a great job.  My sister - teasing me because she knows that there is no way that I will see my term as booster president through without putting a lot of work into it.  Maybe I should have reminded her of the hundreds of hours she has dedicated to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as a volunteer? 

While chaperoning my daughter's band(s) to Weekend in Wildwood some of the instructors thanked me (and the other boosters) for all the time and work we do to help keep the music programs running.  I pointed out to one of them as we walked down the boardwalk right after one of the competitions, that it's my job as a parent to help my children, to support them in all they hope to achieve.  I can't give them a trust fund, but I can let them know that I believe in them and will be there for them (even if it means riding home from very long days soaked on less than comfortable school buses at goodness knows what hour). 

Many of us achieve success by overcoming obstacles, but few of us dare to take on those obstacles without someone to encourage us or challenge us to do our best or just to try.

So, I will continue to support and challenge my kids and along the way I reap incalculable rewards, just watching my kids (the ones I gave birth to and all the others who make up an ever growing extended family) take on challenges, learn from mistakes and sometimes glory in successes.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Myth and Nature - Transformed

I had the very great pleasure of attending the artists reception of my friend Jenny Davies-Reazor's solo exhibition.  The show is at the Newark Arts Alliance and is running from May 4th until the 29th.  The show was a delight on many levels, my children have been taking ceramics classes with Jenny for years, and most people think of her as working primarily with clay.  While she still makes shrines and figures from clay this show was dominated by a variety of mixed media collages.  Every where you turn there was beauty to soak in and meanings to ponder. 
The last shot is Jenny's selkie collage and my own selkie.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Band Mom

I'm now recovered from spending a 4 day weekend with my daughter's high school drumline/jazz band/color guard programs in Wildwood, NJ.  It was a very busy, exhausting and rewarding weekend.  Many of the kids on this trip were in more that one of those groups.  My daughter plays in both the drumline and jazz bands.  For those kids the weekend was filled with rehearsals and competitions.  Except for meal breaks those who shared that schedule spent 4 days at the beach and only got near it when walking in a group to and from competitions, until the last day when they were give 3 hours off.  In general I am very proud of how most of those kids handled their very busy schedules and still had a great time.  My daughter, like most, would have liked more "down time" to get to the boardwalk/amusement piers but still felt the weekend was completely worth it.

I also admire the hard work and dedication of the instructors and band parents who took off of work, paid for their weekend and spent it on duty around the clock.

The only real down side from my perspective was observing some of the oldest students try to assert their independence and show their maturity by ignoring the rules and deciding that what they wanted to do was more important that the rules set down for the group.  Some lessons are hard to learn, and hard to teach, yet what would life be without them?  Why is it when we have seniority, we so often feel that we merit special treatment? 

I think back to being in high school and even college and thinking that my friends and I had achieved maturity only to be thwarted by adults who did not agree.  Maturity is relative.  Every stage of life brings new levels of maturity, and as we achieve more we often demand more respect for it.  Yet those who are "ahead of us" often look down and fail to recognize the new level of maturity is deserving of the respect being demanded.  I have often observed that those who demand respect are the least likely to have earned it or to be given it. 

We are all a product of the choices we make in life.  We end up with a life largely based on a foundation laid when we were much younger, by the choices, good and bad, that we made long ago. Yet it is not just the choices we make that control our destinies, but how we react to the circumstances those choices bring about.  A bad choice can cause pain and frustration, but in the end it is how we deal with that pain and frustration that sets us up for what comes later.

I would like to think that I try to make good choices, but hope that when my choices are bad that I can at least learn from them and move forward in a new and positive direction.