Tears at the Bus Stop

Collaborating with theater companies is interesting. They love to rehearse. And I mean LOVE to rehearse. 6-10pm, 5 days a week, or 6-10pm 4 days a week AND 10 am-5pm on weekends at least 6 weeks at a time. And I get it, they need that rehearsal time. But this rehearsal schedule is BRUTAL for me and my family.

During a recent theater collaboration, Buddy spent a lot of weekends at my in-law’s house. First it began on Saturday nights because I would rehearse late and then have to be back at rehearsal the next morning. And my husband, well, for the most part, he isn’t the stay home and make a meal and take care of the kiddo type of guy. All I can hope for is that he doesn’t give me a hard time when I drop the kid off with him on my way to the theater, he feeds him a decent meal, and that puts the kid to sleep at a decent hour. For now, that is all he can (or will) handle.  And my Saturday nights sans child, I usually spent them on a date with my husband. Because, even though I was exhausted, this was the only time I have to spend with my husband all week. If we do not have a date night, I will see him less than 15 minutes a day for a 9-10 week rehearsal and performance run, and that schedule is really problematic for a marriage.

At first, Buddy loved staying at my in-laws. All the unhealthy processed foods and sugar he could ask for, unlimited cartoons. It was fun. But that can get old after a while. Once the Thursday-Sunday performances started, the once a week sleep over at my in-laws evolved into both Friday and Saturday nights. My husband started waking up with the kiddo to make him lunch and take him to school on Friday mornings so I could sleep in. But the two full days of watching the kiddo without me in the house (I was also taking a technique class every Saturday morning before the show) was not something the partner was up for. Buddy grew tired of Nana’s house and he started to miss me.

The last Friday of the show’s run, I woke up around 6:30 am to walk Buddy to the bus stop with my hubby. It was then I told him he would be staying at Nana’s house again that weekend. He started bawling “NO MAMA!!! WHY?!? WHY, MAMA, WHY?!?!? I MISS YOU!! I MISS YOU MAMA!! NOO!! WHY?!?”

My son missed me. Yet I hadn’t gone anywhere.

I felt guilty, like I was a terrible mother for not spending quality time with my son when time is sacred and childhood is precious and fleeting. I also felt resentful, bitter, and angry that I was sacrificing so much time away from my family for so little pay and so much unnecessary drama that oftentimes accompanies theater productions. I promised myself then and there I would never again commit to that type of rehearsal schedule and for so little pay. It isn’t worth the sacrifice.

Perfecting the Mad Dash

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Buddy and I have a saying to describe one of our mother son rituals. It is called the MAD DASH. Right now, we only have a Mad Dash every Tuesday. Last year, the Mad Dash was every Monday and Wednesday. When I have shows or an insane rehearsal schedule, like when I am working with a theater company, the Mad Dash can be every day.

What is a Mad Dash you may ask? A Mad Dash is when I have 30 minutes or less to pick up Buddy from school or an activity, drop him off at daycare or with his dad, and get to rehearsal or a technique class. It is a Mad Dash because Tucson is a city that is very spread out and the interstate does not run directly through town. That usually means red lights every half a mile at 35 miles per hour driving.

The Mad Dash can be very anxiety producing, stressful and involve a lot of yelling on my behalf. A Mad Dash may also involve some road rage on my part especially if the Mad Dash is close to a performance I am directing and producing, or when I have grant deadlines.

As an introvert who takes a long time to warm up and get in the zone to work and write, cutting up my concentration by running all over town stuck in traffic when I have a deadline looming is insanely frustrating because it is a large distraction (See Blog Post #1). The Mad Dash can also be insanely stressful, especially on days when I leave the house at 7:45am and won’t be returning until 11pm that evening. On these days, I have to be on top of everything: homework, piano books, water bottles, snacks, rehearsal bags with notes, music, costumes for dancers, lap top to get work done in parking lots, outside of speech therapy, or choir, wherever I can find a moment. Buddy has learned my “please turn green, please turn green” mantra I say to the lights every half mile. And he knows when I say “gas pedal” I mean “get your shoes on, pick up your things and get out of the door 5 minutes ago.”

Lately, however, with the whole company hiatus thing, my stress level is much lower these days and the Mad Dashes have been upbeat and something fun that we laugh at and joke about. For example, the Tuesday Mad Dash usually begins with Buddy racing his friends to the parking lot after choir rehearsal and ends with a guessing game about who will arrive first at the rendezvous point for the Buddy drop off at a Jimmy John’s parking lot, me and Buddy or my partner. The significant other usually wins.

Right now, that Tuesday Mad Dash happens between Buddy and my rehearsals. Buddy is in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and studies piano so now he and he is also a performing artist with rehearsals and call times and shows. I was always sad that my husband retired from dance right after we got married. Now I think it may be a good thing. I can barely juggle two performing artists rehearsal schedules! I can’t even imagine trying to coordinate three! And between Buddy and me, I foresee many more Mad Dashes in the future.

The Precedence

Less than six months after founding, my company received a grant to apply for 501c3, non-profit status. Looking back on it now, it was an interesting reaction to the grant all around. I was not excited nor did I celebrate. I got to work right away, I hit the ground running and did not look back. I had work to do and a deadline by which to achieve it. I felt pressure and the need to succeed after receiving this small investment. My founding board president, however, had the complete opposite response. Her reaction was “I guess we have to do this now.” I was dumbfounded by her reaction. Of course that is what we were going to do. That is what we set out to do and I had that headstrong attitude…. I never fail.

Those who have applied for 501c3 status know that the process is long, time-consuming, and filled with lots of paperwork and technical language. All the Ts have to be crossed and the Is and Js dotted, or heaven forbid, the application is rejected and an org has to apply again. The application is also expensive and the grant my company was awarded would only cover one application. One try. It was the organization’s one shot. Pressure.

Having experience working on federal grants at the University and after successfully applying for my husbands’ green card by myself, I decided to do the application in house. And that meant I would do the application. Me, working at home, just me. And my son.

I did the paperwork for the c3 when my son was 9 months old. At a time when he was learning to stand. At a time when I was weaning him from breast feeding. I worked on the application during my down time from work. I was teaching 2 classes back then. It was supposed to be 20 hours of work a week but it was more like 30 or 35. Like artists, adjunct faculty are overworked and underpaid. There I was, In between lectures, office hours, grading, and managing teaching assistants. I only had child care for my UA job. All the dance company work didn’t pay, so the expense of childcare was not justified. Especially for my husband. My mother-in-law lived 45 minutes away and was unable to help due to ongoing family problems. It was me, working from home. With my son.

The memory that is seared into my brain from this time in my life is an image of me. Sitting at my desk in my small one-bedroom apartment on an exercise ball, desperately trying to finish the application. And my son at my leg, trying to stand, trying to climb up my knee, so that I could hold him. But I could not. I had to finish this application. Me, alone. Stress. Pressure. I kept brushing him down off my leg, back to a seated position, back to the floor. So I could focus on work. No child care. Stress. Pressure. So I could get the application done. No child care. So I could finally have space to do choreography I envisioned.

Pushing him to a seated position so I could work, so I could choreograph, so that I could dance. That set the precedence for the years to come…

Lactating on Stage

I was back on stage performing six months after my son was born. I had no business being on stage. I had had a two-year absence from dance at that point, and I was never a technically strong dancer to begin with, and I had no idea how to move my new body.

Plus, I did not have much time to recover. I had to return to work six weeks after giving birth. Adjunct Faculty at the UA did not have maternity leave, or benefits for that matter. And not only did I need the job to cover medical expenses, but I also needed the income to immigrate my husband.

So there I was, teaching six weeks after giving birth. Sleep deprived. Struggling with postpartum depression from all the large life transitions that happened to me in the span of a few months. My hubby was living in LA at the time and dealing with my brother-in-law’s bipolar manic episodes (although he was not diagnosed yet and we did not know what was happening). With my husband still living in another state, I was basically a single mother at this point in time. I depended on in-laws, such as my mother in law or my husband’s cousins, to watch my newborn child, or I would take him in with me when I had to teach because I could not afford childcare and living expenses on my measly adjunct salary. My few-months-old son attended my classes, and faculty and research meetings in his car seat carrier more than a few times. All of this drained me spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

So why on earth did I put myself on stage only six months after having a child and two years of not dancing at all? Because I was commissioned to create three pieces based on the experiences of undocumented students in the local community college. Not wanting the opportunity to pass me by, I said yes, figuring I could find a handful of dancers to work with me and I would not have to be on stage. I needed three dancers, preferably Latin@. I found one dancer, yet my husband, a recently retired professional folklόrico dancer, wouldn’t even commit to the project. No rehearsals every other weekend when he was in town. He just flat out said no. And I couldn’t find anyone else. I was so desperate for bodies, I put a visual artist on stage. And I felt I had no other choice: I needed to perform. Oh, a foreshadow of things to come…

The rehearsals, combined with work and mothering a nursing newborn, took a toll on my body. I came down with lactation mastitis, which is so incredibly painful, three times while breastfeeding. Feeding times often fell during class and rehearsals, I could feel myself leaking. The milk ducts were full, then they clogged, and I got the very painful infection. I felt like I had to suck it up and deal with it. Deal with the pain and the infections. I could not change my class schedule at the University. My schedule was at the mercy of sabbaticals and professors buying out classes. I had no agency to negotiate and I couldn’t breastfeed or pump as I lectured in front of 180 students. And for some reason, perhaps the exhaustion, the lack of a support system, or my inexperience as a mother, I did not even consider bringing my son to rehearsal and breast feeding him there when he needed it.

To add to the madness, the director who commissioned the piece had a hard time securing affordable rehearsal space…again a foreshadow of things to come…and got us free space 45 minutes across town. Which meant that it took 3 hours of travel time, round trip, to get to rehearsal (30-minute drive to my in-laws, 15-minute instruction time for the baby, 45-minute drive to rehearsal, then rinse and repeat to go home). There were hours away from my child that were physically painful.

I should not have done it but I did it anyway, and this performance was the catalyst for creating my company. (Read more about this here). Looking back, this performance was also the complete foreshadow of things to come. Seven years later, all these things — difficulty finding dancers, affordable rehearsal space, and child care — still plague both me and my organization. Seven years later, the same struggles, the same battles. Go figure!

All of this work, all of the physical pain I incurred, all the time away from my son, culminated with a one-night performance. I was standing on a table in black beginning the piece that was my solo. It was a small intimate theater with 120 seat house. Sold out. It was the first section of my piece. The beginning of the dance. My baby is in the audience, six months old. As soon as the lights start coming up, slow fade, I start to leak. I am lactating on stage before the dance piece even begins. I pray the pad in my nursing bra which has a sports bra on top, absorbs all of the milk and it doesn’t show. Prayers answered. It didn’t.

Birthing a Company (and a Baby): Part II

After quitting dance in Tucson, the grand plan was to save up for a year, move to L.A. and live with my friend “Chava” who was dancing with a touring folklόrico company based in the area. I was going to move to L.A. with my friend and dance. Oh how plans change.

On a trip to Southern CA for a cousin’s wedding in the summer of 2007, I drove down a few days early to visit my friend Chava. During that trip, we became more than friends and after a whirlwind 6-week long-distance romance, I was pregnant, we were married, and he was moving back to Tucson.

I never left town. At the time we married, my husband was undocumented and I needed to use my job at the University of Arizona and my income to immigrate him. And I needed to immigrate him, for the sake of my new family and unborn child. In 2007, the anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona was at an all-time high, peaking right before the passage of SB 1070 in 2010. Chava drove through Maricopa county, home of the infamous Sheriff Aripaio, on his way home from L.A. to visit me every two weeks. I worried about him being stopped in Phoenix. I worried that if he was pulled over, had a flat tire, or the like, that the father of my unborn child could be deported. Staying in the desert to immigrate my husband was the most logical path, so I stayed and he returned, eventually.

Around two months after I gave birth to Buddy, my little firecracker, I was commissioned to create 3 pieces of choreography by the Fundaciόn Mexico and Durham University located in the United Kingdom. At Durham University, doctoral students of a certain department were paired with artists who interpret the research findings of the PhD candidate and help disseminate the findings back to the community. The commission came about because the partner of the Ph.D. candidate and choreography commissioner worked as an administrator in the Mexican American Studies Department where I taught. The Ph.D. candidate and his wife knew that I was a choreographer and that I had some experience(s) with the theme the dissertation explored, undocumented college students. Not only was I familiar with the academic research on the subject, my husband and his brother were undocumented students who graduated with a bachelors and masters respectively in engineering in the early 2000s and were unable to work in their fields at that time. Keep in mind this was in 2007, prior to the Dream Act/DACA. I was selected as one of approximately 10 artists on the bill. Given the fact that I was in the process of immigrating my husband and all of my new in-laws were still undocumented at this time, I threw myself into the project, creating three new dance pieces.

Opening (and closing) night came, and the one night only show was completely sold out! There was a line around the theater and one of my close friends was calling me asking me to sneak her in the back door of the venue. I thought about that former director of mine…whatever happened to “my” people not showing up to see contemporary art? Maybe they weren’t marketed to in the most culturally competent ways? Or perhaps they just wanted to see something relevant to their experiences on the stage?

Armed with the knowledge there was an audience for contemporary Latina@ performing arts, including dance, and stuck in Tucson with a modern dance community that had absolutely no space for me, I mulled over the idea of doing something.

After the death of a classmate from college about six weeks after the mix billed show, that idea evolved into “I am going to create my own company”. Although we did not get along that well due to ideological differences, I had respect for the woman who had a large impact on the youth and students in the Chicano community. Driving home from the services that afternoon, I thought to myself “Life is short. If I am going to do what I want, choreograph the pieces I see in my mind’s eye, I should do it now. Why not?” After picking my child up from my mother-in-law, I called two of my close friends – one a former folklόrico dancer who collaborated with me on “Estatus: Unsent” and experienced with me first hand all the microagressions of the Tucson modern dance scene, the other a friend who I did research with at the UA. I also called up a new dance acquaintance and in-law by marriage and another friend from college who had experience opening his own businesses. I asked all of them if they would be interested in starting a dance company with me.  All of them agreed.

On February 18, 2009, we gathered around a glass coffee table in the home of one of my best friends. A company was born. My son was 7 months old.

Birthing a Company: Part I

For the record, I never wanted to be the director of a dance company. Maybe artistic director one day, when in my 60s, at a University with a joint appointment in Mexican American Studies and a Dance Department. I would probably need a PhD for that, but I digress, I didn’t set out to be a Director. And definitely not an Executive Director of an emerging (read: no money or other resources) non-profit art organization in a grossly underserved region in the West. No. All I wanted to do was choreograph. Choreograph and dance. So how did I get here…?

I wanted to be a choreographer for as long as I could remember. I was creating dances at the age of three to my Strawberry Shortcake vinyl record. I had all of these ideas for dance, props, and the costumes. I loved costumes. Fast forward to the early 2000s. I was in graduate school for Mexican American Studies and auditing dance classes in the University of Arizona Dance Department where I studied as an undergraduate. I was also dancing for a handful, let’s say two-ish, of local modern dance companies in Tucson. And I was miserable.

The Tucson dance crowd at that time was very very clique-y and I was not a part of the in-crowd. The very white, very granola, group of women who comprised the core of the modern dance community at that time thought they were very progressive, but when it came to the social issues that were exploding in Arizona and around the nation at that time – specifically in regard to the 2006 U.S. Immigration Reform Protests, they just didn’t get it. As I was leaving rehearsals or board meetings and a comment was made about my “role in the community” or my then job as Adjunct Faculty in the Mexican American Studies Department, remarks were always made in a snarky semi-sarcastic way that made me question their sincerity. I interpreted these remarks as snide comments, microagressions. And I usually was also the only woman of color in those companies. My short curvy body most definitely did not fit in with the taller thin frames of the other dancers. And when one dancer who was complaining about “all Latinos having muffin tops” or “Mexican food being the unhealthiest,” (and by the way it isn’t), combine with the faces I got when someone, heaven forbid, had to lift me, I took it personally. Microagressions. When I was cast as Zorro or an African slave on an auction block because “I was Latina and that was the closest thing.” I took it personally. (And I am sure that one is much more than a microagression). I felt otherized, ostracized, I did not belong and it was blatantly obvious. I was not a part of the exclusive club. There was absolutely no place for me in that dance community.

Yet, I did not think of leaving Tucson because at that time, I was in one of my dream jobs! As I previously mentioned, I was Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona’s Mexican American Studies Department teaching fun classes like Chicana Feminisms, Mexican American Social Perspectives, and Latina/o Representations in the Media, to name a few. I loved that job. I loved teaching the upper division courses and the subject matter inspired me artistically. I could see all these great pieces coming to life in my mind’s eye. I knew that I could take what I was teaching – cultural competencies, participatory action research – and fuse them with the contemporary performing arts to make something relevant for the Latino/a communities in the Southwest. In graduate school, I was indoctrinated by my professors and academic elders that if I had a platform and a chance to have my voice heard, that I, as a woman, a Latina with ancestry from rural Northern New Mexico, as a first generation college student, needed to use that platform to do and say something meaningful for the greater good. I struggled with the fact that I was on stage dancing as a piece of seaweed in rehearsals then 15 minutes later I was protesting immigration policies that could affect my future husband. It felt like cognitive dissonance.

Despite my feelings of “other” in the dance community, I pushed forward, the stubborn woman that I am. I stayed in the companies longer than I should have. I thought out loud at rehearsals about a company that served Latina/o audiences. A company that could apply Chicana epistemologies to modern dance. I was so excited about the possibilities. When I shared my ideas with one of my directors at the time, she told me that “your people don’t watch modern dance.” I was undeterred.

In spring 2006, during the time of the immigration marches, the time leading up to the Arizona State Legislature passing SB 1070 and HB 2281, controversial immigration and ethnic studies laws, I decided to choreograph for one of the company’s choreographer showcases. I worked with two Latina dancers with folklόrico dance backgrounds, both of whom were not in the company, to create a solo piece performed by me in silence. The piece entitled “Estatus: Unsent” incorporated elements of folklόrico and social dance (salsa and reggaetόn) and spoken word in Spanglish, which was my main mode of communication with my friends at that time. The piece was about one woman’s passionate journey through a courtship with an emotionally unavailable lover. It was more dance theater than post-modern dance and it was completely different than any other piece in that showcase. I took pride in the fact that I was using different aesthetics, aesthetics that represented my experiences and those of my friends in a more meaningful way.

Performing this piece of choreography with this company was a terrible experience. My text was questioned and censored in front of the entire cast the night of dress rehearsal, because I used words like “chingado” and “cabrón” in my piece. This happened despite the fact that me and my co-collaborators gave the directors a transcript of what I was saying, that we translated for them from Spanish to English, six weeks in advance! Moreover, the show that my words were censored in featured a piece about gynecological exams with dancers in booty shorts with their ass cheeks hanging out that did not get censored! 10 years later and I am still angry. I put another giant check mark in the box of microagressions. But the icing on the cake came when I overheard another dancer, a dancer I met my freshman year at the UA who I had known for eight years at that point in time, say “My family doesn’t want to see a Mexican woman screaming on stage.” It was obvious to me that she wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

Stubborn as I am, I stuck it out with that company for one more year, then I quit dance for the second (and final) time in my life.

Failure + The Tortoise and the Hare

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It is 12:30pm on a Monday in February 2015. I am sitting in my incredibly messy home office, desk by the window, glancing out at the warm AZ sun. I have 1 hour before I needed to pick up my son from school. This call can’t go long.

I am on the phone with Tay and Val, two Singaporean documentary filmmakers based in Seattle. We are all going to be attending the first ever Community Arts Gathering in Ajo, AZ in March and Tay and Val are interested in me performing in their ever-evolving traveling project “Dreams Unlimited.”

That is when it happens. Tay casually asks me “What is your biggest failure?”

In Tay and Val’s project, they look at the 5 Fs that they identified as impediments to one achieving their dreams. I can’t remember what the other 4 were, perhaps funding, fear, or family. But it was failure that they ask me about. “What is your biggest failure?”

I tell them that in my personal experience, failure is not a big cathartic crisis where everything falls apart at once, like some Hollywood movie. No, for me, my days are filled with little failures that, over time, snowball into huge failures. And all of these failures have to do with my lack of balance between the million roles I play in my small performing arts company and my most important job, mothering my special needs son. The short fuses, the rushing him out the door, the lack of nights and weekends together, the hours he is in front of a screen while I am writing and administering grants to fund artists – grants where not even a penny of funding comes my way. Those little moments, the countless “hurry up, we are going to be late” and the short “I don’t have time for this” that I say to my son almost every day. Those are my greatest failures.

The Tortoise and the Hare

I’m at the Community Arts Gathering in Ajo, AZ. A day after I performed a compositional improvisation about failure and motherhood, I attend a workshop led by the Kimi Maeda whose performance Bend I saw the night before. Bend combined sand drawings and film footage to retell a true story of two men who were interned in a Japanese American relocation camp during WWII. I am most interested in her work with sand drawings; in particular, the physical movements her body uses to create the drawings. In her workshop participants, such as myself, are going to create sand drawings that illustrate specific challenges their communities face that can be transformed into desired outcomes. Great, I thought, sign me up!

For some reason, I am in and out of the workshop. It may have been for one of the five meetings I have this month with the education team that is evaluating my son for autism services. I may have stepped out to remind my ADHD husband to pick up our kid at a certain time and take him to daycare. It may be the talk I am giving about cultural competency and the arts, or the large org grant I have due this week. But most likely it is all the fires I have to put out given that my show, Dancing the Mural, is less than two weeks away and there is a mural that still needs painting, a frame for the mobile mural that needs building and the organizing of rehearsal and artists travel schedules that are not going to organize themselves!

But here I am in the middle of this workshop. I am sitting next to a woman who I just met. She is one of those people who have a vibe about them; a vibe like you have met them before. I felt like I knew her and there was a genuine calm and inner peace radiating from her aura.

Pretty soon, we are paired into groups and asked to share a situation where we wished we had acted differently. If you knew me, you would know that I don’t do that.

So here we are, getting all warm and fuzzy (barf!). Generally, in a warm fuzzy here-come-the-tear-situations, I stay on the surface. I don’t go deep. I do not like to open up. I do not like to be vulnerable. I do not trust people and I don’t share. If I have to share, I share a mundane story adding some bells and whistles to make it seem deep. I usually don’t share how I actually feel in those situations.

But for some reason, today is different. Perhaps it is because I did the failure performance the night before. Perhaps it is because my guard is down because I am so stressed out and busy with the upcoming show. Perhaps it is this woman’s aura and that feeling that I know her. I ended up actually telling her the truth. I shared my most vulnerable challenge: time and my son. Given my crazy work/life schedule, everything is timed down to the last second. It has to be. The only way I have a snowball’s chance in hell to get anything done is to have my day planned out to the nano second.

My son and husband are my complete opposites. My son once took two hours – TWO HOURS – to eat a meal. They take their time and time is not an issue. It does not exist.

How does this play out in my day to day life? With a lot of yelling. By me. At my son.
To hurry up. “Hurry up, we are going to be late!” “Five minutes, we have to leave in
5 minutes.” “Come on, come on, COME ON!! LET’S GO!” “We’re late, I told you so!!”

Oh my God! I became my mother!

So I share my “issue” with her. I shared that I believe my career is doing irreparable damage to my child’s self-esteem. And I know that the fact that he takes his time is a part of his disability. Unfortunately, the way I have structured my life and my career, I do not have the sacred resource of time to share with my child. The years are flying by and I am busting my ass and giving my all to other artists, sacrificing time with MY CHILD to run a small perpetually under-resourced company. My son and I have lost years that I will never get back. This is a young precious life that I must value to the fullest, but yet, if I don’t do the vast majority of the heavy lifting in my org, there would be no org. The org would fail.

And yet, the artists that work with my org have NO idea the sacrifices I make and what I have to do to give them the little that I can. Their expectations of the dance company’s traditional “heroic leader” are high and I am too under resourced, too overworked, and too underpaid. I cannot meet these expectations. And all the while, the most important person in my life gets yelled at because I am too busy. It feels like a lose, lose situation.

I share and yes, I am afraid she is judging me, as I fear readers may be judging me right now. I feel like a terrible mother who is choosing a career, a thankless career with no financial gain at that!, over my child’s wellbeing.

So I share all this with my newfound acquaintance while choking back tears and then I leave. I leave because I have something else to do. Somewhere else to be.

When I come back into the workshop, I find that my newfound acquaintance created a sand drawing story based on my “challenge” that transformed my struggles into a wonderful desired outcome.* She started out with a hare. That is me. Busy and always on the go. Then I gave birth to a tortoise. My son. A true child of the desert that likes to take things as they come. He moves slowly, observing the world and his surroundings like a leaf floating in the wind. A sharp contrast from his mother, a bulldozer with laser vision.

The third image is that of a rabbit/hare hybrid. That is a new and improved me. That is the me that I need to become to be a better mother. Retaining some of my hurry up hare nature while adapting to the needs of my tortoise child.

It is perfect and just what my heart needs. And yes, I cry.

*This “newfound acquaintance” in this story is Nicole Gurgel-Seefeldt who is also the editor of the MPA project blog.

 

“Oh, are you gonna blog me?”

Today has been one of those days where everything has been divided up in 2 hour chunks and I can’t get anything done!!!! AHHHH!! The tension is building, my stress level is rising and my patience is gone. I am at a red! RED! I am screaming inside. As if my child breathes too loudly, I might explode. And poor little guy, it is not his fault.

We left the house at 6:55 am to walk to the bus stop and it has been madness since then. Vet visit, piano lessons, dentist appointment. Holiday gifts to wrap, homework, reading, piano practice (which takes extra effort on my part because his disability leads to difficulty focusing), a play date to arrange, dinner to prepare, the hour of physical therapy that my screaming-with-pain knee needs.

Plus: a blog deadline, my company’s end of the year letter writing campaign (6 weeks late), a document to send a colleague (3 days late). A company newsletter to write and design, a website to update, urgent phone calls and emails to return. And tomorrow is supposed to be my last day of work as I try to time my work schedule with his school schedule so he isn’t home bored to tears while I am working all day!

And this is with me NOT dancing tonight. If I had class or rehearsal…¡olvídate! I would get absolutely NOTHING done.

I need 6-8 uninterrupted hours to get work done. I’m working full time on a part time schedule.

We arrive at the dentist office and I know my face is tied up in stress knots, with wrinkles being engraved into it. I look at Buddy and sigh. I take out my laptop and he asks me with a smile on his face “Oh, are you gonna blog me?”

Too cute. If I wasn’t so stressed out, I’d smile.