A lot of people are surprised to find out about all the great resources for kids in Detroit. One of my new favorites in the Wayne State University Weekend School of Music. It’s one of those “hidden gems,” and I only found out about it thanks to an old coworker whose own children had attended.
I signed up both BE and BC in January and their session just ended (they’ll start a new one in June – sessions correspond to college semesters). BE took piano and BC took drum. The classes are held as group lessons and meet almost every Saturday. At first I wasn’t sure how the group format would work, but my kids have learned so much and the teachers are great at keeping the kids’ attention.
During a recent class, BE’s teacher took them to see a grand piano and gave them a lesson about how a piano works – it was one of BE’s favorite lessons. Oh, and I can’t forget, the lessons are very affordable!
BE’s tour of the inside of a grand piano
Meet the newest poster girl for Girls on the Run:
BE at her first day of Girls on the Run
What’s Girls on the Run, you ask? It’s a program for young girls focused on physical activity and character development. Throughout the “season,” the girls train in teams for a 5K while completing self-esteem. building activities. I’ve been dying for BE to be old enough to participate for years, and finally this year, she could.
At first, she wasn’t excited about it, and agreed to join only when I bought her a running skirt (perfect for girly girls like her). Well, the season ends next weekend, and she ended up loving every minute of it. She says she wants to go to Girls on the Run every day (not just the two days per week that they meet) and she’s already asked to sign up for the fall. Her coach told me that they should make her the official poster girl because she’s so enthusiastic.
If you have a young daughter, please check it out, it’s a wonderful program. BE runs at the Boll Family YMCA in Downtown Detroit, which is a great facility and will be the subject of its own future post.
I’ve written in the past about my uneasiness with Mother’s Day, and now I’ve found a new reason to dislike the holiday. One of my fellow Shetroit bloggers recently wrote about the origins of Mother’s Day – who knew it started out as a peace movement? Please take a minute to check it out!
This week, the Shetroit blog was full of Mother’s Day posts and there’s another story that I was truly excited about. One writer, described her mother’s pregnancy at the age of 17 and her decision to parent despite suggestions otherwise. I think family preservation is the best option all around and I’d love to see more stories like this.
There’s a local Ethiopian restaurant that I LOVE, but I’ve been very nervous about taking the kids there. My birthday was earlier this week, and I decided to risk it. So we went, and much to my surprise, the kids did great. They tried almost everything – I think the fact that they got to eat with their hands helped a lot. Maybe we’ll even go back!
Our big platter of Ethiopian food
I wore my Ms. Frizzle skirt for my birthday. I got this skirt from Anthropologie and it reminded me of something Ms. Frizzle (of Magic School Bus fame) would wear.
Birthday card from BC
I recently committed to give up complaining. I was recently at a meeting of local women writers, and we were asked to share one thing that we could give up. Actually, we were asked to spend some time considering a list of 15 items, and then choose just one that we would commit to focus on. Many of us, including me, could easily have selected more than one, but “give up complaining” really stood out for me.
People who know me probably wouldn’t say that I have a big problem with this. But, that’s only because I rarely share my negative thoughts. Here’s how the list described “give up complaining:”
“Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.”
In my head, I often complain about my kids’ behavior. I often allow them to control my mood and my attitude. Unfortunately, this is just the opposite of what I tell them to do. If they’re upset about something, I remind them that they can’t control anyone else, only themselves.
So, as the year goes on, I’ll be putting a lot of energy in into improving my own attitude.
I love the Moth Radio Hour on NPR, so I was excited to discover a relatively new storytelling organization in Detroit – The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers. The organization hosts a storytelling event each month, featuring five or six local storytellers. In March, I got to tell my story and it was a lot harder than I expected. I don’t think I’m natural storyteller, and I’ll probably never do it again, but it was a great experience. Check out my 10-minute story on YouTube.
The events are a lot of fun with some very moving and funny stories. If you’re local, please consider attending the next event on April 26!
I’m a big fan of Michigan Radio (the local NPR affiliate) and I’ve often linked to stories the station has done as part of a project called “State of Opportunity.” This project looks at how the state can improve opportunities for disadvantaged children. So, I was ecstatic when the station asked me to do a guest blog on adoption and early childhood trauma. Check it out on the “State of Opportunity” page!
Don’t We Look Alike, a mother/daughter blog on adoption, has introduced “Foster Fridays,” a weekly feature focusing on foster care. I’m the guest blogger for the week, so head on over and check it out!
We have an April Fools’ tradition at our house and the kids have been asking to do it all day. Despite their excitement, I managed to catch both of them off guard. Here’s to another year of poisson d’avril!