Popular Parenting Blog for Older Moms Over 35
Our group for older moms over 35 parenting later in life has a popular parenting blog that periodically features reviews of products, services, travel destinations, theater and other forms of entertainment and leisure pursuits. If you’d like to submit a topic for consideration, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click to determine which type of writing opportunity is best for you.
May 21, 2013
Rennie Harris’ RHAW, currently playing through May 26th at the New Victory Theater in New York City, is 75 minutes of high energy, hip-hop dance that is exciting, fast-paced, breathtaking, and amazing, and makes you want to get off your seat and move your feet.
On the Friday evening when I attended the show, adults were applauding and cheering as each dancer demonstrated their signature moves, and young girls and boys in the audience were bouncing on their heels, and trying to recreate hip-hop moves in the aisles. It was like a party.
The young kids in the audience might not have recognized some of the music (“Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen), or understood why the adults in the audience were nodding to the lyrics from “Across 110th Street,” by Bobby Womack & Peace, but that didn’t matter. They were excited by the exhilarating dance movements and the energy and talent on stage. And that’s what the New Victory Theatre does so well. It makes shows like RHAW available to all generations. The New Vic is, as stated so well in its promotional materials, “a place where storytellers reign alongside daredevils, puppets, rock stars, break dancers and—most of all—kids.”
RHAW’s founder, director, and CEO, Dr. Rennie Harris, is an Alvin Ailey Award recipient and a renowned choreographer whose previous works at the New Victory Theatre include Legends of Hip-Hop, and Puremovement. The current production, Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works (RHAW), features a hip-hop dance theater company of talented young dancers, performing fresh spins on classic street dance styles. The multi-talented cast performs as a group and individually, each displaying their signature dance hip-hop moves. Whether they are performing their “swiping layout,” “popping/boogaloo,” “Halo,” or “WindWalker,” the positions in which they are able to move their bodies, and the speed at which they communicate through dance, are truly awe inspiring.
RHAW features several stories told through dance and music: “Brother,” an emotional performance about less fortunate male figures in society who are often judged and condemned; “Three B Boys & A Girl,” a love story told through nontraditional break dancing vocabulary; and an excerpt from “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which tells a coming-of-age story about one young man’s search for love, identity and justice. Additional numbers include the memorable “110th Street,” and “JAM/Hip Hop Bows,” a grand ode to The King of Pop choreographed by Rodney Hill and featuring music by Michael Jackson.
Dr. Harris founded RHAW in Philadelphia to serve urban youth. RHAW cultivates hip hop culture and preserves its legacy by demonstrating discipline and focus through performance, dance education, outreach programming and mentorship. In a recent article in Time Out New York, when asked why hip hop is such a universal movement language, Harris replied: “I don’t think it’s specifically about hip hop. Anything that allows you a freedom or a voice is universal.”
RHAW moves you to feel that freedom. And then some.
To watch a video from RHAW, click on the link below:
General Ticket Information
Tickets for RHAW at The New Victory Theatre (209 West 42nd Street) cost $25, $18, $12, and $9 for Members and $38, $28, $18 and $14 for Non-members based on seat locations. To purchase tickets online, visit NewVictory.org, and to purchase by phone, call 646-223-3010. The Box Office is open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-7pm. Tickets are available now for weekend performances through May 26th, 2013.
May 21, 2013
Ever been really tired? I’m not talking about this sleep deprived for three or four years thing that we’re all going through. I’m talking about so tired that you barely have the energy to walk across the room to pick up the toy your child has been screaming for the last five minutes. The kind of tired where you shrug your shoulders and say, “Eh, today is a good day to watch the Bubble Guppies dvd. Over and over.” That’s the kind of tired I’m feeling these days. I’d really like to say that I get eight hours of sleep a night, but that would be a big, fat lie and we all know it. I usually log seven, albeit interrupted frequently.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We are very fortunate that both the 2 year old and the 1 year old sleep pretty much through the night. Sure, there’s the occasional bad dream that shakes them out of sleep and requires a few extra hugs, but we don’t have to listen to endless minutes or hours of screaming about going to bed and staying there. (Nap time is different, but who’s keeping track?)
This particular brand of tired runs more from the head than the muscles. When I’ve tried desperately to fit in crafts and outdoor time and reading and chores, all to keep the kids entertained, along with laundry and vacuuming and dusting, (I don’t include cooking, because I’m fortunate enough that the man of the house takes care of that. Hallelujah!), only to find myself oddly unfulfilled. I try to sit and write or work or just check social media accounts, but the little gremlins I live with sniff me out. They know – even if they are on the other side of the house – that I’ve just sat down to accomplish something. Anything. I never realized how much I miss our babysitter.
At least once a day I think, “Suck it up. You are 43 years old. You seriously need to get over this.” And so I pick myself up and move forward. And about 15 minutes later, collapse back on the couch from exhaustion. My body feels too heavy to carry around. Until my 2 year old wants to play airplane – you know, where you put someone’s belly on your feet and hoist them up? She loves that. She prefers to “fly,” as she puts it, when you pick her up over your head and zoom around the house with her. It’s absolute fun, although it does make you realize where your workout is lacking. Oh, I just made myself laugh. Workout. Ha.
Do all new mothers feel this way? Or is it a product of being over 40? Although I wouldn’t be so bold as to say I’m in the best shape of my life, I wouldn’t say it’s the worst, either. Most days I do have plenty of energy to play and run and fly, but on the days that I’ve run out of gas, oh, the body and spirit are weak. Those are the dark moments, when I wonder if I’ve shortchanged these darling girls of mine by waiting until I was 40 to have them. Wouldn’t a young, hip 20-something mom be so much cooler? Wouldn’t she be willing to spend two hours on outdoor play instead of one? Wouldn’t she be excited to do just one more craft after having cleaned up from the first two? Wouldn’t she be thrilled to sit in the play cottage for an hour and drink imaginary water?
I don’t know exactly what kind of parent I would have been in my 20s, but I suspect, not a very good one. I was too career driven and definitely too much into partying. I recognize the moments now, the need to slow down and pay attention and listen to what my precious baby girls are trying to tell me. And I plan on going to all the sporting events or academic meets or dance recitals or piano recitals or chess matches that they attend. But if I’m being honest, I just hope that I have the energy to make it as much fun as what I think my 20- or even 30-something self would have done.
May 20, 2013
Kids ‘N Comedy, New York’s leading presenter of young comic talent, presented their “MOMS AND DADS” show on Sunday, May 19th at their home base at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC.
It was described as……”We love our parents. Even though they’re totally embarrassing. We love them even though they ground us, and nag us, and tell people that we used to wet the bed. We love them even though they dance at weddings, and wear baseball caps incorrectly, and frequently reference television shows and movies that nobody has watched in 40 years. That’s why we’re making this Kids ‘N Comedy show about them. We love you guys. “
Kids ‘N Comedy shows feature exclusive material and contains new writing by its young comedians that is created expressly for the varied topics of each performance. Kids ‘N Comedy’ at the Gotham Comedy Club features talented teens and ‘tweens from the tri-state area. Each comic performs his/her own material, which is screened to be free of profanity and abrasive or crude “low” humor. They do, however, venture into edgy comic terrain: politics, getting old, even death.
Photo by Lee Wexler
The show featured 8 kids from the troupe, including Charlie Bardey, Valerie Bodurtha, Conor Carroll, Ryan Drum, Leo Frampton, Rachel Kaly, Zach Rosenfeld, and Lee Wolfowitz. In a nutshell, the show was a treat! Lots of laughs from some very talented kids who took to the stage with poise and wit….and there was an element of excitement, given the notion that we might be watching some future big name comics in the making. The performers ranged in age from 14 to 18, some of whom are going off to college in the fall, so this was their final bittersweet performance with the troupe. A personal favorite of mine was Ryan Drum, who presented a riotous routine highlighting how he’s a master texter and a less than stellar in-person communicator, particularly with members of the opposite sex who catch his eye.
Bodurtha played the banjo and mocked how one of the Madagascar movies is actually set in Europe….making no sense given the title Madagascar.
Connor, just 14, joked about his dad paid more attention to his pants than his kids (you had to be there)….along with what he learned from Silence of the Lambs….that anyone that nice may be a cannibal or something else inside.
Frampton has ADHD and talked, in both an inspiring and humorous manner, about how he’s affected by it and that high school isn’t great, but you’ll get through it….find something you love!
Kaly, who discussed her OCD, also talked about how infant games like Peak-a-Boo that parents commonly play with their kids can actually lead to fear of abandonment. It was funny as she described it.
Rosenfeld focused much on his laughable take on a family cruise to Alaska …..foe example, how a life vest when light up can signal a shark, and when you blow the vest whistle, you’re letting the shark know that his dinner is ready.
Bardey discussed life in NYC compared to other places, including how you can get mugged on a daily basis, jay walk, etc. His bit about his less than impressive high school graduation attire was quite humorous…describing it as a headless pancho, with skull cap and square on top of it, complete with a little tail.
Wolfowitz discsussed his out of the box game and reality show concepts…i.e. “Extreme Makeover Ugly Baby” …game show idea “Where’s Kanye West?” and “How the Hell Did You Get into My House?” featuring contestants who have five minutes to rob the home of an elderly war veteran before he takes justice into his own hands.
The theses of each comic were quite diverse, and it was both entertaining and interesting to witness what is on their minds at their age In addition to the comedy troupe, kids from the audience were invited up to briefly participate, tell a joke, etc..
Host of the show is David Smithyman, the talented, engaging, king of the deadpan stare Australian-bred comedian who is the Producer and Senior Instructor of Kids ‘N Comedy. Smithyman’s book, “Young, Funny and Unbalanced: a Stand-Up Comedy Guide for Teens,” was awarded a Silver Award by Literary Classics, and he is a runner up for NBC Universal’s Stand Up for Diversit
KIDS ‘N COMEDY “PRO” SHOWS RUN OCTOBER THROUGH MAY EACH YEAR.
To read about comedy class opportunities with Kids ‘N Comedy, visit: www.kidsncomedy.com/classes.htm
Or Camp Kids ‘N Comedy information: www.kidsncomedy.com/camp.htm
Tickets $15 plus a one item minimum (food or drink.) There is a kids’ menu for kids under 12.
Reservations required: online ticketing is available at www.kidsncomedy.com or 212-877-6115.
Kids ‘N Comedy websites: www.kidsncomedy.com, www.facebook.com/kidsncomedy, www.myspace.com/kidsncomedy
Length of Show: 1 hours, 45 minutes
Audience appropriate ages 9-18 and their families.
BACKGROUND ON KIDS ‘N COMEDY
Kids ‘N Comedy originated in 1996 as a talent show for kids at a The West End Gate restaurant on the Upper West Side that was owned at the time by Associate Director Stu Morden, Art D’Lugoff and Manny Roth (Cafe Wha). The talent of the kids caught the attention of BBC-TV, which filmed a documentary about them, which resulted in more media attention. Demand spiked among kids wishing to perform, and this prompted Artistic Director Jo Ann Grossman and her husband Stu Morden to establish Kids ‘N Comedy to serve these budding comics, through classes, an intensive summer comedy camp, both taught by a rotating staff of professional comedians and for the kids, professional gigs. Their performance series started at The Knitting Factory in 1996 and moved to Caroline’s in 1998 and to Gotham Comedy Club in 2000. The founders point out that there’s a ten year ramp-up to a comedy career and stage time is essential to becoming a good performer. Before there was Kids ‘N Comedy, getting that stage time was nearly impossible, since comedy clubs are primarily bars and therefore off-limits to teens.
Beside their regular shows at Gotham Comedy Club, Kids ‘N Comedy performers have appeared at a variety of benefits and charity events, including events: Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation (it brightens the lives of seriously ill children and their families) and the Toyota Comedy Festival.
May 19, 2013
Excerpted from CARRIED IN OUR HEARTS: The Gift of Adoption; Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents by Dr. Jane Aronson with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin. Copyright Jane Aronson 2013.
I always wanted to adopt a child. When I was very young, I saw those Save the Children advertisements on TV and I felt badly for kids who were very poor. I asked my parents to adopt the kids on TV. At one point— I can’t remember the inspiration behind it— I asked them to adopt a Native American child, and they patiently explained that these children could not be adopted out of their tribe. That was a disappointing moment for me, but more about that later.
In 1975, I saw a church announcement on an Upper East Side bulletin board advertising an adoption meeting. I was the youngest person at the meeting and the only one not married. The church auditorium was filled with married couples who appeared to be mainly in their thirties and forties. The social workers running the event were probably my age, twenty- four. It was an informational meeting about adopting orphans from Vietnam. The American government was going to provide transportation for Vietnamese infants and toddlers who were being adopted by American citizens. I filled out an application and then we were given an opportunity to meet with a social worker that evening. They broke us up into groups and I was told after they reviewed my application that I was not eligible to adopt because I was single and too young.
That was called the “baby airlift” in April 1975. While I missed out on this opportunity, I put the flyer in a folder and continued to get mail from local adoption agencies in New York City throughout the years. I remember throwing the fi le, which had become filled with brochures about adoption from Vietnam, Colombia, and Paraguay, away years later. I was sad to give up my dream, but by then I was teaching and thinking about medical school and I told myself that there was no time for me to be a parent.
Fast-forward to me as a pediatrician specializing in adoption medicine in the 1990s. Off I went for a month’s trip to China, with my then partner in life. I was the doctor on the trip for eight families who were adopting from China. It was a very cold and challenging trip, but at the same time it was a close-up look at the process of international adoption, and I was eager to learn so that I could be more helpful to my families. We traveled to Beijing and Guangzhou, and I took care of eight children who were adopted by eight American families. At one point there was a dramatic moment for one family that turned into a dramatic moment for me as well.
A baby scheduled to be adopted by one of my families was most likely blind. The adoptive mother suspected it the moment she first held the child in her arms and she and her husband called myself and the Chinese facilitator to their motel room to discuss the situation. According to adoption procedure, when a child was thought to be sick, the child had to be evaluated and assessed by a Chinese doctor. So we marched the baby to a children’s hospital, where a vision test was performed and the child’s blindness was confirmed. With sadness, the family decided against adopting the child. They were fortunate in that the Chinese authorities agreed to place the blind child back in the orphanage and to provide the family with a new child. This was a nerve- racking moment because the papers had already been signed and the photos of the first baby were already on the visa, but the children looked enough alike, especially in their hair style, and nothing much had to be changed. The pain, suffering, and guilt the family felt were monumental, as you might imagine. The rest of the group was not informed, so that they could process on their own without judgment.
My partner and I had to keep the blind baby in our room for a day and a night to manage the transition of the arrival of the new baby. There we were in a tiny motel room without heat and lights within a small, crowded, and polluted city in China, feeding and playing with a baby. It was a dream come true for me. My partner loved babies, but she was not interested in adopting; she had two grown children and was happy with our life alone.
I fell in love with this baby and still remember her sucking sounds as she eagerly devoured her warm formula thickened with oatmeal and topped off with a teaspoon of sugar— the same recipe I had instructed so many families to use to add much- needed extra calories to their children’s diet and to help their babies sleep. I cried when I gave her back to the facilitator the next morning and spent many years grieving and pining for her. Fortunately, she was adopted by another family from the United States months later. The parents who had decided not to adopt her felt very grateful for their circumstances but also sad; it was one of those bittersweet moments in adoption. Their daughter graduated college recently. It is hard to believe this adoption occurred so long ago. I finally came to terms with my decision to adopt and be a parent in 1999; I left an eighteen- year marriage to a woman and adopted a four- month- old infant boy from Vietnam as a single parent in August 2000. More on this wonderful period in my life later. Many of the parents you’ll hear from in the pages that follow had equally long roads to travel following their decision to adopt. Yet the joy that greeted us all when we were finally able to hold our children in our arms is, in many ways, indescribable.
Jane and Her Sons
Dr. Jane Aronson is an accomplished pediatrician specializing in adoption medicine. She has held prestigious positions at Cornell, Columbia Mt. Sinai and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1997, her dedication to adoption medicine led her to create Worldwide Orphans Foundation, which has developed successful programs in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Haiti, Serbia and Vietnam, all aimed at transforming the lives of orphans in their home communities. A blogger for the Huffington Post and CNN.com, Dr. Aronson has been profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Redbook, and Glamour and is a Glamour Woman of the Year. She has been featured on the CBS Evening News, CNN and the NBC Nightly News. She lives with her family – including adopted sons Ben and Des — in Maplewood, New Jersey