I’m not much for making resolutions, mostly because I’m not one for keeping resolutions. With that said, one thing I’d like to do more of in 2013 is spend individual time with each of our children. It used to be as easy as a walk around the block or even a trip to the pediatrician — there’s nothing like an ear infection to encourage a bit of bonding when you have five tiny tykes! As they get older though (they are now 8, 6 4, 4 and 4!), quality time together is tougher to come by. And let’s face it, a trip to the pediatrician is not the stuff memories are made of! Memories, I think, are forged through shared experiences and, if they happen to be new experiences, all the better!
I was lucky to have one such experience with my little lady in December. We took a break from the basketball games, cookie baking and Christmas shopping to spend a Sunday in the city at the Broadway Edge Annie workshop. From the look on her face, I think it’s fair to say she really liked it…
Ciara happens to be our only daughter. She also happens to be a bit of a drama queen… who wouldn’t with four brothers to fend off on a daily basis?! We don’t get a lot of “girl time” but our afternoon at Broadway Edge was a day I hope to repeat for a few reasons, none of which have to do with her theatrical ambitions or, truth be told, lack thereof! While our little lady is full of drama at home, when offered the chance to channel that drama in front of an audience, she became timid and shy, as many of the children in attendance did. But, they were quickly drawn out of their shells by the pros at Broadway Edge, who literally got down on their level to instill comfort and confidence.
In just a few hours, a somewhat timid group of kids — including Ciara — was transformed into a confident group of “orphans”, singing and dancing to “It’s a hard knock life.” Were they perfect? No. Do I envision her on a Broadway stage? No. But what she – and the rest of the group – discovered that day were enduring life skills:
- Confidence: if these kids can sing and dance in public, public speaking later in life will be a piece of cake!
- Camaraderie: they arrived strangers and left with a new-found sense of empathy and teamwork.
- Gratitude: they all realized just how lucky they are that they don’t scrub the floors at home… yet!
What did I learn? That nothing beats a day with my girl. That she can tackle anything she sets her mind to. And, that I love the music from Annie as much today as I did when I was six!
So, with 2013 just kicking off, my goal is to have another such day with my lady and to share a similar cultural experience with each of my sons. As I recently told a friend, we used to have a cleaning lady and now we don’t so, every time I scrub a toilet, floor, shower or tub, I am going to pay myself. And I am going to use that money to fund our excursions, expand our horizons and create memories that I hope will last a lifetime. For the record, I do see the irony in scrubbing floors to get back to Broadway (it’s a hard knock life!) but, I think the effort to give our kids an edge — a cultural edge — will be well worth it!
If you’d like to check out Broadway Edge for your budding brood, the next weekend audition intensive will be March 2nd-3rd, and right now, they are offering a special discount code. Sign up by February 4th and enjoy $50 off using code MBLOG.