I've been trying to think of what to write for a blog entry to submit. I have a very sad story to share about a woman who lost a child but I'm not feeling like that's what I want to write about today. I also read an article about the fight for gay marriage and I feel that's such a downer right now too. My twins are starting to sleep for slightly longer stretches of time and that is making me so happy. I feel like I want to write about something positive. I think I'm going to submit a recent blog entry for the blogging event but I'll give you a little something to read today.
It's funny that I thought, for a while, that I didn't have much experience with kids. As I was preparing to have my own kids I kept saying that I vaguely remember putting a diaper on a 4 year old before bedtime a few times and I think I fed a bottle to an infant once. That was it. I felt pretty unprepared to deal with a newborn although I was optimistic that I would pick up the necessary skills pretty quickly.
It's true that I don't have a lot of newborn experience. However, looking back on my life I have been around kids quite a bit.
- I was a babysitter in high school (weren't we all?)
- I worked at a summer camp with kids 4-12 years old (I had a good tan that summer)
- I worked at a group home for deaf kids with developmental/emotional/behavioral issues (and fell in love with them)
- I performed several children's shows in Chicago including "Click Clack Moo", "Rumplestiltskin" and "Schoolhouse Rock" (singing "I'm Just a Bill" was like living out a childhood dream)
- I worked at a children's activity center and led art projects, storytimes, and sing-alongs (and it's where I realized I hate Barney)
- I taught dance to elementary school kids while in college (and learned about how kids develop their bodies at a young age)
- I taught 2nd and 4th graders creative drama while in college (and loved watching their never ending imaginations)
- I tutored kids after school (and was sad when it didn't really work into my schedule any more)
- I performed a touring show for high school students for a year.
This last one is one that I want to talk about for a minute. We would perform for audiences of 1,000-3,000 kids at a time. We performed 5 days a week and I worked with the company doing performances for probably about 35 weeks. That adds up to over a quarter of a million kids who saw me perform. Aside from the fact that some kids were awed by us I felt like a rock star when I'd meet them, the reason that was so important was this: one of the stage managers on the tour said he remembers the very same company we worked for coming to his high school and performing for him. He was so amazed by the show he knew he wanted to work in theater. A few years later there he was, doing a national tour with a children's theater company.
I think about those 250,000+ kids who saw me perform years ago and wonder how many of them have a wonderful memory of the show that they saw. I hope that I made some kids want to become actors, directors, set designers, theater critics or even just fans of the theater. It makes me proud to know that I have touched so many children's lives and it makes me excited to think about how I can touch the lives of my kids by exposing them to the wonderful experiences I have had over the years.