Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Embracing My Kids And Being Their Cheerleader

Aiden, 2.5 years
When Aiden was in daycare, everyday at pick-up, he’d see me, get excited, and run a full lap around the 2’s room.

Everyday. Without fail.

He was so excited to see me, to be reunited, that he’d run a full lap and then run up to me and give me a hug.

At first I’d cringe and scold him. I’d tell him to “Walk, be calm, don’t run” because, well… I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was okay with him running indoors or being rowdy. And I didn’t want anyone to think he didn’t have any “brought-upsy,” so to speak.

So I cringed. And I scolded.

He was excited and I was embarrassed. And I was scolding him to stop being so... excited

Let that sink in for a minute.

But luckily for my kid (and for me!), he’s pretty freakin’ resilient and kept at it. Everyday at pick-up, he’d see me, get excited, run a lap around the room, and embrace me with a hug. Every single day. Despite the fact that I scolded him about it just the day before.

One day something “clicked” and I decided that I’d just not give an eff about what folks thought about that situation anymore. On my way to the daycare, I told myself that I’d see my baby and cheer him the eff on as he got excited, ran that lap around the room, and embraced me with a hug.

It was the best hug ever.

Every day since then, I validated his emotions and matched his excitement. And daycare pick-up became one of my favorite moments of the day.

August, 1.5 years
Fast forward eight years and August does the exact same thing. Everyday at daycare pick-up, my little guy sees Aiden and me, gets excited, starts clapping his hands and banging on the wall, and zooms up to us as fast as he can.

All while Aiden and I cheer him on.

Even when the teachers tell him to “be more gentle” or to “calm down,” Aiden and I hype him up and cheer him on.

Because sometimes you just have to embrace the kids that you have and be their number one cheerleader no matter what anyone thinks or says.

Thank goodness I learned that lesson eight years ago. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nivelli's War at The New Victory Theater

It's been a long time since Aiden, August, and I have gotten out of the house during the weekend. And we've been having a bit of weekend cabin fever, so to speak. But with the weather warming up and making me more happy to be out and about, last weekend was the perfect time to head out into the city.

Enter The New Victory Theater.

We've been there so many times and I absolutely love it. The live performances, exposure, and cultural experiences always ensures that we'll have a good time and equally good discussions afterwards.

This time we saw Nivelli's War, a play set at the end of World War II in which a young evacuee from Fankfurt, Ernst, meets Mr. H while he is far away from home. Mr. H is magician and, while on an adventurous and uncertain journey to try to get Ernst back home, Mr. H teaches Ernst a trick or two.

The best part of the show is that it's inspired by a true story, which made for a great conversation and rich discussion afterwards. I especially love how Mr. H and Ernst become each other's ally and protector, and that Aiden and I were not only able to talk about the historical context behind the show, but also about the power of friendship and mentorship.

The best part of the experience, though, is that the customer service at The New Victory Theater continues to be unmatched. There are several times throughout the show where there are loud noises to depict the bombing that occurred during the Holocaust, etc. When August started crying and I made a quick exit, the staff members were very helpful and kind. August and I sat on the bench outside of the auditorium and watch the show from the screens. It can be really uneasy or uncomfortable dealing with a crying toddler during a performance, but the staff was just... amazing! As always.

Thank you.

Nivelli's War is running from now until May 7th at The New Victory. The show runs for approximately 65 minutes with no intermission and tickets start at $16. Visit the New Victory Theater website for more information.

{Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to the show in order to facilitate this review.} 


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