i chose a theme and made you a mixtape of my favorite variations on that theme!
first things first
Today marks the third Monday Mixtape post since changing up the weekly format. I extend hearty cyber-handshakes to those of you reading the post each week and looking for ways to add to the mixtape with your own links, photos, stories, songs. I've had so much fun seeing your takes on the theme!
What's the purpose of the weekly link-up post? Read here.
Now onto this week's theme......
track 1: the teaser
Alex' summer reading plan
track 2: music
From rock and alt punk to show tunes, the Jonas Brothers and Mozart's Mass, I have learned whole new worlds of music through my kids.
Here's just an actual mixtape on this week's Mixtape:
(I put this first so you could listen while you read the rest of the post)
I'm sure I've mentioned I'm the first-time mother of a high school senior, right? I thought you all might enjoy reading the first speech Drew wrote for his Public Speaking class.
"Baseball game are rarely fun when you're sitting near drunks. That was the situation I was put in about five years ago at a Binghamton Mets game. Behind us where the drunks; in front of us were the smokers.
The drunks were mad at the smokers for smoking. They said their kids -- John, Ashley, and you know, what's-her-face (they couldn't remember because they were so drunk) -- were crying and scared because the smoke from their cigarettes were drifting upwards towards their row.
This was obnoxious to me because the drunks were obviously looking for controversy for controversy's sake. It was also obnoxious that the smokers were fighting back. They weren't drunk, and they should've had the common sense to just move up to the dozens of empty rows in front of them. It's a B-Mets game, after all. There are going to be empty seats.
The person who broke up the tiring feud was my mother. She looked back, and I swear the second before her mouth opened I could see lightning strike behind her profile. She screamed 'Shut Up!' at the drunk parents, whose little kids were now crying only because the adults were so angry at each other. She was so scary that the two rows ceased their arguments.
A couple of fighters on each side ended up speaking to each other, just stubbornly apologizing for their pointless fight. My brother and I actually spoke to each other because we could finally hear each other without all the shouting. And no one, absolutely NO ONE, spoke to my mother. And I have a feeling she was okay with that."
Yep, I've apparently inspired my kids' creativity in all sorts of Mommie Dearest moments. This post is my attempt to share just a few examples of the ways their fearless creativity and insistent artistry have inspired me. I'll only be able to scratch the tippy-top of the surface because their lives are bigger to me than words I can print. We overlap, intersect, crash, collapse into each other in ways far more complex than mere physical action.
Also, every year they return to school, I am reminded of the deep courage it takes to spend their days in the almost-overwhelming pressure to fit the status-quo, to conform to the mold of mediocrity. I'm hoping for the appropriate level of humility to be both teacher and learner to them.
track 4: books
I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to read one of the most popular book series of all times. Especially since my kids and their father are all fans (Kendra's read the entire series through like five times), but I finally dug in during this summer vacation. Fun! There's nothing like fantasy fiction to wake my imagination up out of its prosaic duldrums.
track 5: poetry
Natalie's rough draft poetry her first day of writing class this summer. (and no, Brian, does not typically wear a tu-tu)
track 5: comedic short
Long for a video clip, but brief for a short film. This is about two years old and it's Pretty low-budget. Still, you gotta admit the premise is hilarious. (and, yes, three of the five actors are related to me)