Ballet, Tony, and a Dance Troupe

Beth and I saw my niece in the Nutcracker this weekend. It was wonderful, she was tremendous as a bon-bon. What a great Christmas tradition!

We also went to a breakfast with Santa where there was a little dance troupe putting on a play about toys that come to life. There’s a ballerina, cowboy, dancing dog, Elvis-type guy wearing a silky/funky/bizarre outfit and sings carols to Elvis tunes, and a rag doll. It was cute and all that. But apparently, our big, tall friend Tony who is often quiet, confided that he used to belong to a similar dance troupe.

We’re not buying it. But it’s the kind of thing that makes me smile everytime I think of it. That’s a good thing.

My friend Lisa told me recently that while we were in the checkout line after our six am post Thanksgiving shopping excursion, she felt saddened by the crazy purchasing of gifts when so many people have nothing. Her husband felt like that last year, but has since rationalized his way past that.

I didn’t feel that at the time. I often feel that in everyday situations, like working in the schools that I do. But no, when it comes to giving gifts and getting them, I love it. At this point in time, I like giving them more.

Before Jake and Beth were born, I ran a family literacy program in an old, depressed, mill-town where 98% of the kids are on free/reduced lunch, there are four stores in the once overflowing town, and the highschool graduates about 17 kids a year. The other twenty-three seniors don’t graduate. The other seventy or so seniors who should be there, are doing God knows what.

Anyway, Bill and I always did stuff for a few families. One family was close in particular. We never see them anymore. We talk sporadically, but we always give the mother money at the holidays for presents. I always felt good working so close with one family, doing a lot for the three boys–as far as giving actual time, not just money–but as we have been overtaken by life, we do less and less and giving money seems terribly offensive.

Not because they don’t need or want it. They aren’t offended and they know we love them and are curtailed by so many things. But, I can’t wait for the day when I can do more, again.

What is everyone else managing to do in your busy lives?

Lisa and I are putting ideas together for a charity that would be child/family centered, that our own kids could be involved in as they get older. We’re thinking this is three years down the road. We’re doing research now. Anyone know of anything special they’d like to share as we think about this?

3 thoughts on “Ballet, Tony, and a Dance Troupe

  1. This is something I’ve struggled with, too, as I want to do more, but of course have to put my own family’s time first. So, I’ve finally accepted it’s okay to do what you can, and do stuff “behind the scenes.” I work with a local charity that provides transitional housing for homeless women who are motivated to do better and their children ( — great org.). I order for their food pantry, write the occasional newsletter article, help out at events. Just the fact you wrote this entry means you’ll always be on the right track. And I LOVE the idea of a charity that actively involves our own kids, so keep me posted!

  2. Thanks Susan. I’ll keep you posted for sure. I’d love it include kids of all ages so they can learn from one another as well as about people who they normally wouldn’t have contact with. Your work with the transitional housing project sounds really neat. Where’s it located?

  3. HEARTH is located off Perrysville Ave exit on 279 North, just past the McKnight exit. Call or email me if you want to chat more about it, or I can link you up with their volunteer coordinators.

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