Dancing Through Life, Defying Gravity

If you want a summer to fly by, make sure your college-bound freshman signs up for early move-in. It’s a guaranteed way to make June and July evaporate as quickly as you can say hot, hazy, and humid.

Tenley and I had several conversations over the last few weeks in which we discussed whether or not I am sad. I had so much fun in college, that I am mostly happy … for her embarking on her life as a young adult, for the memories she will build, for all of her tomorrows.

Am I sad? Yes, for the things that didn’t get done, for the things I wish in retrospect I had done differently, for times when worry, distraction, or misplaced priorities interfered with me giving my family the full attention they deserved.

Happy or sad, I know one thing. I am full of love and hope for a young woman who is deeply treasured.

cp boathouse

New York City, Central Park Boathouse July 2014

“ithurts” (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

This week, random.org handed me Mama Kat prompt number four: What was the last thing your child cried about? Write a blog post about the problem in the voice of your child.


One, two, three…Jeté!



I just landed wrong and ithurts…ithurts…ithurts

Tears are coming down my face (but I hardly ever cry in front of everyone anymore) …this is bad


How am I going to keep dancing?

Mom will say what she always says – “Ice it! Did you take Motrin? If you love dance enough you’ll deal with the pain. No one said it was going to be easy.”

My feet already hurt all over from the pressure of dancing en pointe, from the bunion, from being on them all the time.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

I wish I could take a break. Maybe I’ll have to take a break. Why did I ever kinda wish for a “minor injury” that would get me a break? But performance awards are in 14 days and the huge show is in 10 weeks and people are paying money to see the show and I want to get a gold medal at performance awards and …

I wish I could take a break. Maybe I’ll have to.

Maybe I can’t.

It hurts.

Author’s note: I would like to thank my daughter Tenley for the conversation that led to this post. In addition, I would like to thank her for reading over what I wrote and allowing me to share it with you. Her main addition was that she would have added a “why won’t my mom make a doctor’s appointment immediately?” kind of line in there somewhere. Also, the phrase that she said didn’t ring true as something she would envision me saying was “if you love dance enough you’ll deal with the pain.”

I would also like to thank Mary McManus, poet, author, and friend for gently yet firmly convincing me that I should share this poem with Tenley in advance of pressing “publish.” That was a very good call. Thank you, Mary.