Sunday, May 09, 2010
To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.
~ Maya Angelou
There was never a Hallmark card for my mother on Mother's Day - the poems and sentiments never fit, so I made my own cards to suit my mother. Mom was a complex, complicated, fierce, and passionate woman. She struggled with depression all of her life and was either very present and loving, or closed off into a world of her own. She was full of life and suicidal.
Mom surrounded herself with beauty; she was an artist, a writer, and a master gardener. She loved to travel and filled the house with art from around the world. She was also a passionate social activist, bringing her children along to Civil Rights and Anti-War protests to participate in taking action against wrong. She laid down in from of trucks to protest the building of a nuclear power plant near our home, as she felt that nuclear power was very dangerous.
When I was suspended for wearing a black armband and lowering the school flag half mast after Dr. Martin Luther King died, she marched herself right into the principal's office and had him retract the suspensions for all of the children who protested the school's lack of respect for his death.
Mom's relationships with my father and us children was volatile: warm and loving, resentful and angry, fiercely protective. Our family was 'dysfunctional' in the traditional sense, but it was MY family and I have deep love and appreciation for both of my parents. They dealt with their own hardships the best they could and raised us to the best of their abilities.
When I began my journey into parenthood, I wanted to be the perfect mother because my mother was not. It didn't take long to discover that parenting and perfect are not synonymous - not even close. The best gift we can give to our children is the knowledge that we are all human, we make mistakes, say stupid things, and have slip-ups. We try, we learn, we grow. Life is about exploration, not perfection.
Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.
~ Alice Walker
I miss you, Mom.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
A sweet family with a child in my class, gave Stella to me when I was going through a tough time.
Stella started out a little black puppy, so at first, I thought she would be all black like her mom, Lady. It turned out that she is the beautiful silver of her grandmother. Last week, I was talking to Lady's 'mom' about how lively and endlessly energetic Stella is. She told me that Lady had finally started to settle down at 7 1/2 years.
Yesterday, when Lady's 'mom' dropped her daughters off for rehearsal, she told me that she had been at the vets all day. She had discovered a lump under Lady's throat, and when she gave her her spring short cut, she discovered swollen lymph nodes all over her. The vet confirmed that she has lymphatic cancer. Lady only has about 4 more months of life left. The oldest child is Dorothy in the play, and is enjoying being the star (and she IS a star), so her mother has decided not to tell the children until Monday.
I guess what was finally slowing Lady down was lymphoma. I am so sad about this news, for the family and for Lady.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Opening night was fantastic! They all shined, especially the leads. After months of hard work and a week of intensely hard work, they gave one of the best performances ever.
The photos are from dress rehearsal. The Younger Group (1st, 2nd, 3rd grade teacher) took the photos for me.
I don't know how many performance photos people may send me. Here's the downside to directing a play.... the director NEVER sees the play. I am back stage all of the time, helping with cues, costumes, props, sound effects, etc. The only time I get to watch from the audience is when I am running rehearsals, and of course, that is not the same thing,
So here are some of the photos the Younger Group teacher tooK:
Dorothy, Uncle Henry, Auntie Em
And the dreaded Mrs. Gulch
Looking into the infinite with Professor Marvel
Dorothy meets Glinda and the munchkins
If I Only Had a Brain
Dorothy and the Scarecrow meet the Tin Man.
And they all meet the Cowardly Lion.
At the gates of the Emerald City
Clip, clip here, clip clip there ... spa day in Emerald City.
If I Were King of the Forest...
Dorothy enters the chamber of the Great Oz. The head had moving lips and eyebrows, with 2 puppeteers operating it.
The Wicked Witch gazes into her crystal ball..
The summons the winged monkeys.
Dorothy summons the winged monkeys.
They gave a performance!
The Clifton Opera House where we are having our show.
We had a great time this evening. But now, my feet are aching, my eyes are drooping, and I am ready to crash! So, I'm off to bed so I can be rested up for tomorrow's matinee.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Well, today was our first dress rehearsal, we have another dress rehearsal so the alternate cast gets to rehearse as well.
It was a frustrating day.
To start with, one of my cast members, not a lead but with an important part, told me he couldn't be in tomorrow's (opening night) performance. When I asked him why not, he said his aunt was having surgery. I told him I hoped it was nothing serious, and he said it wasn't- her legs were hurting. No, he wasn't going to be at the hospital, but he couldn't get to the performance. I told him I'd pick him up and take him home (grinding my teeth wondering why at least one of his parents wasn't coming to see him on at least opening night). "Well," he said, "We have a concert for my sister." Honestly, I'm a patient person, but at this point, I was seething.
I called his mother and had to leave a message on her machine. I told her that it was important for him to be there, I'd help with transportation, please call me back. I expect I sounded cranky - I certainly FELT cranky. When she called back, she told me that her mother's sister needed vascular surgery, her mother (not her) was going to be there, but she had gotten her daughter tickets to a concert two months ago when she didn't know yet when the play was going to be. The date for the play has been on the school calendar since when? The BEGINNING of the year! Plus I have been sending notes home about timelines, costumes, etc. since February.
The day started off bad, and kept on going. I have been sending notes home since two weeks ago, that costumes had to be at the theater on Monday. On Monday, I sent notes home reminding people who did not send their children's costumes in to have them in on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I sent in notes to have them in on Wednesday. Yesterday I sent notes in telling them that they absolutely had to have them in today because it was dress rehearsal. Paper notes, and emails each time.
3 children still came today without their costumes, including the child who said he couldn't be here on opening night. Now, these are not complicated costumes. We made the complicated costumes. This was a request that went out before spring break so people could shop at Goodwill for the odds and ends they needed. Green shirt. Yellow shirt. Brown pants. Black pants. Black shirt. How complicated is that to work out?
Then we had a costume crisis during the show - we came up short one flying monkey and one winky costume. Tears back stage. After the dress rehearsal, I went over my production notes and found that one child who was on stage as a flying monkey and a winky had not told me, on multiple occasions when I double checked who needed what costume, that he planned to be either of those parts. He just took the costumes assuming he had those parts. Oh, and he was one of the children who didn't bother to show up with the necessary costume pieces.
What are people thinking?????
That said, the leads had their lines memorized and were doing a lovely job acting, as was much of the supporting cast. Their singing was great! The sets and props look wonderful.
After rearranging the prop table for tomorrow's dress rehearsal, organizing materials, and cleaning the theater, I had to drive to the next city to purchase another long gossamer grey scarf - one of the two I had purchased disappeared. I have dancers swirling around Dorothy and Toto with the grey scarves for the tornado, so the second one is pretty important. Then I went back to the school and printed and folded 200 programs. Tonight I need to repair the costume malfunctions from today's dress rehearsal, including hot glueing 9 pairs of sunglasses back together, sewing tails back on, and glueing the scarecrow's straw so it doesn't fly all over the stage tomorrow like it did today.
Okay, I don't usually rant, but I needed to today. I feel better for having had a chance to. Now, I can get back to work on the repair jobs.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I am so happy to find that I am regaining my muscle tone...
However, I can really see the effect stress has on my weight. Even though I am literally working my tush off, and eating well, I have put 3 pounds back on in the last three busy, stress filled weeks. The better muscle tone in my thighs helps me look thin, but the dreaded muffin top is back with a vengeance!
At this point, I have thrown my hands up and cried 'UNCLE!!!!'
At this point, I am adopting Scarlet O'Hara's philosophy.... I'll worry about it tomorrow. Well, not tomorrow, but after The Wizard of Oz is behind me.
So, it's a good news, bad news kind of day.
Mostly good though!
Get An Email Alert Each Time PUDLECRAZY Posts