The girls recently leveled up on a new life skill: dealing with rejection.
For the past two weeks, the girls have been in drama camp. Nope, not a euphemism for anything, an actual drama camp that culminated in a staging of the Frozen Jr. musical on Friday. This was not an everyone-gets-a-trophy, everyone’s-a-star camp. It was up a few notches on the competitive and selective spectrum.
It was interesting to watch both girls prep and audition for parts and come face-to-face with the reality of just because you want a part doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. That was when the drama ensued, euphemism intended this time. We did our best not to shy away from it and give the girls some tools to understand and interpret the outcome. No easy task. I learned this playing sports. I was poorly equipped to handle the intensity of musical theatre.
We focused on not taking it too personally and that a lot of decisions are based on a wide range of factors. And to try to take something from the experience and remember that all but one person was also rejected for the same role. And really, the music said it best, just let it go.
They got over it and probably didn’t even need my pep talk. The show was great. I’m still sort of in shock at how good it was. It’s a strange and wonderful feeling when you see your kids doing something that you know you could never, ever do.
In Massachusetts, on summer weekends, you are one of two people. You flee south to the Cape and islands or you head north to the lakes and mountains. In the past, we have always been southern people but on this particular Saturday day we threw caution to the wind, cast off traditions, and headed toward the border determined to live free or die.
Or, at the very least, survive a day at Canobie Lake Park.
We were down at the Cape for most of the holiday week and it seems fitting on the Fourth of July that the girls got a little more independence this year. While they are not swimming alone or biking off down 6A to the General Store, they do now have the freedom to pedal around the complex and go for low-tide beach walks.
It’s been good for all of us. If a mid-afternoon lull sets in or if they just can’t survive without dessert immediately, we can shove them out the door and tell them to pedal around for 30 minutes until the second, mmm, maybe third, bottle of wine kicks in. Let freedom ring!
Week one of Camp Dad is in the books. After a rocky start (by everyone) due the jet lag, we were mostly back to normal by Wednesday. That included our first trips to the pool this year. One thing the girls definitely noticed at the Cefalu beaches were the bikinis. The very tiny bikinis. On everyone. One piece bathing suits were definitely in the minority.
During vacation, after convincing Michelle to get her an appropriate Italian bathing suit at the Termini market, Ally was thrilled to be living the European bikini life. Ce was appropriately horrified (that’s my girl!). Thankfully, we basically convinced Ally that European bikinis are illegal in the US so our pool visits this week were done in appropriate Puritan modesty.
I’ve got enough problems without introducing bikinis at age six.
One thing we noticed in Italy this past week is that kids are completely adored, showered with attention, kisses, cheek pinches (ask Cece, it was her favorite part) but very little is set up specifically for kids. Kids are expected to do everything like the adults.
I like this assumption and the girls were at the perfect age to meet those expectations. They had plenty of time to splash in the pool, hang out with cousins, and act like kids but they also carried their own bags, did all the tours, and talked with the family. It was a great vacation for kids just not a kid-centric vacation.
If you think elementary school body humor has peaked in your house just try introducing an Italian bidet to the equation. It opens up whole new avenues of humor.
After a whirlwind 36 hours in Rome, we have now made it to Sicily. This is the first long plane/travel trip since Ally was about 18 months old and we’ve found that the rules have changed slightly, or at least no longer involve diapers. Here are our six rules of engagement for this trip:
- Avoid boredom. They are mostly old enough to entertain themselves but having random shiny objects they’ve never seen before doesn’t hurt.
- Anticipation is half the fun. We got the kids involved in the planning. Ce is also keeping a travel journal. Also, start packing a week out by putting things in piles to avoid last minute stress.
- Avoid hunger. Snacks in a strange land work just as well as at home.
- Always be bribing. In Italy, gelato works really well for this.
- Energy is infectious. This is Michelle’s speciality. Her mantra is “It’s an adventure.” She is very going at spinning anything.
- There are mostly no rules. My mantra? I’m on vacation and I don’t care.
Of course, tantrums and meltdowns happen on vacation as well as in your own living room but it’s worth it for the great moments, right? Cecilia has now had a “memorable” moment in the Roman forum. Daddy has had one in the Hertz line in Palmero. It’s the cost of doing business and if the kids (and Dad) are ever to learn how to master these behaviors, it may as well be on the go.
One unlikely pitfall of working from home most days is the unexplainable urge to constantly vacuum. I can only chalk it up to how ineffective I find most work meetings or just how strong my need to procrastinate is that I’ll clean before sitting down at my desk.
This week, I was straightening up (in preparation for the addictive vacuuming) and came across a Sharpie cap in the living room. Just the cap. Is there a scarier thing to find as a parent? I immediately checked the walls, carpet, and fur around Dash’s mouth. No joy.
So far the other half of the marker remains missing…