Life gifted me with a precious child 32 years ago. I think until you experience parenting there is nothing you can even remotely compare it to and the amazing experience that it is. It impacts every aspect of your life. With Mother's Day quickly approaching I find myself, as I have for many years, reflecting on having been a parent and thought I would share some of the Mother's Day gifts my son shared with me.
When he was 15 months old I was newly separated and finding my way around the world of single parenting. My father was staying with us for the Mother's Day weekend from out of town, so he could visit my Grandmother. On Mother's Day morning he took Jeff for a walk in his stroller so that I could have a quiet morning coffee. When they returned Jeff was beaming as he held tightly in his tiny fist a bunch of wildflowers that he and G'mpa had picked during their walk. The smile on his face just melted me.
When he was 5 I was woken up by the milk from a bowl of cheerios as it was slopping across my face, and a giggling smiling boy standing over me as he was bringing me breakfast in bed. You just can't get mad at the thoughtfulness. He was so proud of himself. We spent a morning in bed, cuddled under blankets together, eating cheerios and reading books.
At six, we were leaving the garden shop when he asked me to stop the car and park again. I was instructed to stay in the car as he went back into the store. After 5 minutes I was beginning to worry and was just on my way out of the car to retrieve him, when my son emerged, again with a smile. In his hands he carefully carried a viola plant wrapped with ribbon and pink foil. Happy Mother's Day he announces! Unknown to me he had brought his allowance to the store.Apparently the lady in the store helped him with the ribbon. He was so excited that he remembered and that I had stopped so he could shop. I was almost in tears at the thoughtfulness.
Years passed with many breakfasts in bed and as he grew older the meals changed from cereal to toast to yogurt and eggs. The first year he was away from home on Mother's Day, I mean really away, attending a year of university in South Africa, was really tough. But a few days after Mother's Day, delayed by the postal service, came a beautiful card with a message from my son. And with it came a flood of memories of all the other years celebrated together.
As he and my daughter-in-law now lives overseas we haven't had a Mother's Day together in many years but I always find myself reflecting on the day. Thinking not so much about the physical gifts that were given, but the thoughts that went with them. This beautiful child, now a man, is the reason that I get to celebrate being a Mother and all the gifts, life lessons and experiences that has brought into my life (and continues to bring). He has grown into a kind and thoughtful man. It's been incredible and while I miss him beyond measure, I really do count myself so blessed.
So I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all those who have the experience to nurture and be nurtured by the precious beings in their lives.
Something brand new!
With stretching, isolations, breathing, dance combinations and more! Blends of modern and world music, stretches and moves to open up your muscles and tone them and then putting those moves into short dance combinations.
The combinations will help to build muscle memory and improve brain integration. Your muscles will work from toe tip to finger tip and everywhere in between. You will find this session helps with more conscious breathing while you move, posture, balance, body awareness and coordination. Props may be added to the mix to bring more stretch and balance.
Saturday, 10 to 11 am, April 18th to May 16th (5 weeks)
If registration is received by April 7th cost: $50
After April 7th $60
Drop in $15
Sessions are held at the Abbotsford Ballet Studio
Does the look on this child's face make you break out in a smile? It sure did for me. What I notice is how often I witness this exhuberant joy in children but not as often do I see it in adults. It leaves me wondering why?
I do have the joy of experiencing this kind of enthusiasm for life
when I teach dance and I think it is because the women that come to class have the opportunity to forget, for just a little while, all the stresses and responsibilities of life. In the safe environment of the studio, for just a short time, it doesn't matter who they are in day to day life, what "hats" are worn, whether they are thin, chubby, tall, short, had a bad hair day, can't make the contacts go in,...none of it matters, none of it is noticed.
(While I hear others say that this is rarely seen these days, I'm blessed to be surrounded at these classes by the least judgemental and most supportive women that I have ever met) In that "freedom" I am witness to these ladies playfully enjoying the camaraderie of each other as they experience and express their creativity together (oh yes, and have the fitness benefits too.) I do get to see smiles like these and it is a blessing.
In the pure joy of others, be they children or adults, the surrounding energy is uplifting. It feels great to be around happy people. But why do you think it is seen less often in adults?
In a society where it seems that to "be too busy" is worn as a badge of honour, or where one needs to feel overwhelmed, burned out and totally stressed in order to fit in and relate to others, are we forgetting the benefits of adding Joy to life? Of taking time to play? and if so, why?
The healing benefits of laughter and joy can not be underestimated. The feel good chemicals and endorphins released in the body are essential to good health of body, mind and spirit. My great-nephew often asks me why I laugh so much, I ask him "why
It does not take a lot of effort to choose joy. It may take some time to explore and discover what brings you joy at this stage in your life, but the adventure and exploration can be joyful in itself AND it is worth the time it takes.
I'm told that when I dance or teach dance, I glow. I haven't noticed that aspect of it but what I do notice is that the rest of my world goes away for a while and I can lose myself in the joy of the music, the movement and the time I am spending with others. When teaching and I happen to notice that smile, or sparkle of joy in the eye of a student, I know that I do glow on the inside...it warms my heart to see another person in that moment of joy.
Here is an opportunity to experience some pure JOY!
In a one hour playshop we will put on some inspiring music and just move! I'll share some very basic and easy belly dance moves that we can playfully put into combinations. We will bump our hips, twirl with veils and most importantly enjoy the experience of moving in a safe and fun environment.
YOU will play at the speed and level of movement that works for YOUR body. This playshop is for every woman regardless of size, age or fitness level! No dance experience is required. I can guarantee that this one hour of play will bring a smile to your lips!
Playshop size is limited so please register early. Wear comfortable clothing, bring some water and even the smallest desire or motivation to have some fun.
Saturday, August 23rd 10:00 to 11:00am and/or Wednesday, Sept. 3rd 6 to 7