Breaking the Ice

8 Dec

Over the past six months, there’s been a lot of hopping back into various and sundry saddles that I’d temporarily abandoned. Exercise, sex, not eating two helpings of dessert come to mind. Oh yeah, and work. (I know, shocking how quickly one can get used to not having a job, right?)

But one of the hardest things to get back into is my creative extracurriculars (the resurrection of this blog was the first step). Going back to work was emotionally the biggest hump, but the blow was softened by the necessity of doing so. I need a paycheck to keep us fed and clothed. Frolicking away at rehearsals for a pittance–if I’m lucky!–not so much. The mother part of me felt selfish for even considering doing a show. Not while Tennyson is so tinyhelplessneedy….and us apart for most of his waking hours too! I mean, can I really abandon someone who both thinks the sun shines out of my ass and is incapable of wiping his own for several extra hours a week? This is the girl who used to have problems leaving the cat alone for more than two hours.
Patrick doesn’t see it like that. He thinks that doing our own thing sets a good example for Tennyson. While I remain skeptical that’s he’s getting much out of our “good example” as a tiny baby, I can’t argue his second point: it’s only going to get harder. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that part of myself.
Still, when an email came my way asking if I knew any choreographers who might be willing to take on a kids’ show, I balked at first. But after giving it some more thought, I took a deep breath…and asked for more information. And then a few good things happened. The directors of the project happened to be acquainted with my work and managed to scrape together a slightly larger stipend. I also discovered that the show is for none other than my old middle school. It seemed like a sign from the universe. And that is how I came to be standing in my carpeted living room with the coffee table pushed back, a pencil in my teeth and script in my hand, making up a hip hop piece to strains of Bach and baby snores from the other room.
I won’t even attempt to deny that this has been a ridiculously stressful undertaking. On top of all my aforementioned misgivings (not yet conquered), I just survived another round of layoffs at my regular job, leaving me with seriously choppy waters to navigate and two people’s worth of work to do for the same amount of money. Finding uninterrupted chunks of time to choreograph 12 (!) musical numbers has been difficult, and the rehearsals themselves are challenging (hello, middle schoolers). Also, it’s Christmas (do I even need to qualify that statement?). But the moments of real satisfaction, contentment and pleasure that’s come with my first little project has made it worthwhile. While I won’t be admitting it to the hubs anytime soon, he’s right–one day I think Tennyson will think it’s really cool that his mom did her own thing. After all, how many babies already have a resume credit pre-birth–Tennyson played Shelby’s in utero baby in Steel Magnolias. And I bet he’ll think it’s pretty cool that he contributed to mom’s choreographic tapestry–in tummy and later in arms.

One Response to “Breaking the Ice”

  1. L.Duncan December 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    I think we as mothers have to hold on to something that made us happy per-baby! The hardest part is finding balance. My friend janell (, wrote a great post on this a while back. She is someone who I look to for all of my advice. Anyway, great post and I think it's cool that you're working with children at our old middle school:)

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