Thursday, December 16, 2010

Never Prepared to Lose Your Mom

To deviate from last week's dancing post, I wanted to take a moment tonight to bring things back to home base. Where this all started. I lost my mom as an infant. My dear friend lost her mom tonight as a grown up, a mother to her own child. Some might say when you're older, you're better prepared to cope with such a loss. Some might say I was luckier to not have had to deal with her illness and death.

At the end of the day, I've come to realize a few things. You can never be fully prepared to lose your mom. Those of you who are moms know what it means to carry a baby inside, literally give life to a child and raise it day to day. There is something so unique and so all-encompassing about being a mom that I guess I didn't fully understand what I had lost until I found myself fulfilling that very role. Only then, did I begin to comprehend how great was my loss.

Is it better to be there for the diagnosis, watch someone go through treatment and eventually be taken by their illness or is it better to have a fast, unexpected diagnosis with a shortened time to live? I am sure people have their opinions. But, not everything in life is or has to be a competition. Either way you slice it, losing your mom is not an easy thing and certainly not something one can prepare for. Not physically and not mentally.

So forgive me for taking this space tonight to share these thoughts as a side note to my gallivanting with ballroom dance. I feel sad for my dear friend. For her pain. For her loss. For the irreplaceable bond that cannot be taken away. Makes me want to hug her and let her know she will get through this terrible time somehow. But until then, my heart and my soul goes out to her. It's a club I'd rather her not join, certainly later rather than sooner. But now we too share a bond. Another motherless daughter joins the team as we walk down this path in life together. May your mom's memory be for a blessing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One, Two, Cha, Cha Cha

So its December and the dancing shoes are going on. I haven't posted in a two weeks as I have been frantically trying to locate a dance class that works for our schedule. I did find a few dance studios in the area and even an open ballroom that offers drop in group lessons for an hour and then a dance party with a band where you can work on your new steps. Problem is the hours and days haven't worked for our schedule. Either the main dance lessons were on Friday night which doesn't work because of the Jewish holiday of Shabbat or they take place during dinner or the kids bedtime. We do get the occasional sitter but I'm not so fond of having other people give my kids a bath or put them to sleep. Once they are asleep, no problem... as long as it is someone my daughter knows and likes... otherwise, chaos ensues. I guess its sort of a mother's guilt. The older one is in pre-school everyday and the baby already has a nanny three days of week. I sort of feel like I owe it to them to do the bedtime routine and tuck them in at night and also, its my favorite time of day to get them in their pjs and sing them to sleep.

Anyway, so besides that excitement, I also have my husband's schedule to work around. Residency is like a ropes course. You get through one flying trapeze of a week and think you are home free when the next schedule pops up and includes overnight call, long call, short call and 15 days in a row before having a day off. This week was actually a family-friendly schedule and still no classes to be found on a random Monday/Thursday night after bedtime hours.

So, rather than succumbing to the possibility of failure for my fourth month into this year-long challenge, I did what any dedicated dancer hungry for instruction would do.... I went to the library. Yup. That's right. They make intro to ballroom dvd's and we put the kids to bed, moved the living room furniture and started the tape. I got three versions as I didn't know which ones would be scratched, boring or too advanced. We found a beginners version for couples so it shows you how to stand and then goes through the movements for each person.

With one click on the dvd player, we were off. We learned the basic frame, hand and foot placements and counting techniques. Then we selected our first dance, The Cha Cha. I wouldn't say its a hard dance to learn. But with left turns and right turns and side to side steps, we did have to practice quite a bit. The best part of it all was I got to dance with my hubby. Rather than some dance class where I would be forced to dance with random other men, I was able to learn and practice with the same person. We had fun, stepped on each others feet a ton, and worked it out until we had it down. We didn't even have to put on shoes. I'm sure the steps are more precise with fancy shoes and dress up gear, but it was so much fun barefoot and in pajamas dancing the cha cha in my living room. With once dance down and a ton more to go, we are one step closer to fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a dancer on Solid Gold!