Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Crazy Weekend: Part 3 of 3

Hilary's graduation wasn't the only excitement of last weekend. As Keri wrote in her last post, it was a busy one for Erika as well.

On Friday night, Erika made her musical debut in Seussical, a production staged by the drama school where she has been taking classes for the last three years. Only students in third grade and older could audition for the main parts, but the director of the program always likes to give the younger children a chance to participate, so she encouraged them to audition to play "mini-Whos." I was surprised when Erika decided to audition, for two reasons: 1.) we happen to be a musically challenged family, although she obviously hasn't figured that out yet, and 2.) the part involved about eight minutes of stage time, for which she would have to go through four months of rehearsals. In fact, last year, she declined to audition to be a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, because if she couldn't be Dorothy, she didn't want to be in the play at all.

But it seems as if Erika's grown up since then. In fact, learning that you can't always be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz of life is a lesson many adults I know haven't figured out yet. Erika was happy in her role of mini-Who, and never complained about all the rehearsals, and all the waiting around she was required to do at said rehearsals. And she did great - especially in the final musical number, "Green Eggs and Ham," in which she made the best angry face of any Who on stage. Now she can't wait until the end of August, when auditions begin for the next production, Charlotte's Web. I'm just hoping for her sake that this one isn't also a musical.

I was proud of Erika's performances as a mini-Who, but not nearly as proud as I was later that weekend, when we ran together in her very first 5K race. We, along with Keri and Molly, ran as the "Cheetah Girls" team, and my friend Lauren and her daughter Abby (who was Erika's first real friend) ran with us. Three miles is very, very far for an eight year old (I didn't run one mile without stopping until I was in high school), so we took a few short walking breaks along the way, but the girls did amazing. It's so important to me that the kids grow up fit and strong, and I try to set a positive example for them (which is the only reason I play tennis three times a week, I swear), so I was proud, and Erika was proud, and I was proud that she was proud, as well as proud of her physical accomplishment - so let's just say that everyone was happy.

When it was over, as Keri already posted, Hilary, Declan, and Lauren's younger daughter Maddy ran in the track trot. Driving home afterwards, with everyone hot and sweaty and tired, I felt like a good mom. Heck, I felt like a great mom. I had spent the morning bonding with my kids, as well as exercising their bodies, bolstering their self-esteem, and laying a foundation for healthy, lifelong habits. How many days do you have a chance to do all that and still be home by lunch?

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