Thanks, you guys. I’m starting to remember why I don’t blog every day. It’s hard! Not that I don’t love sending out a few typed sentences into the internet. That’s easy and I do love it. But deciding on quality content and really doing a good job putting something together takes longer than a few minutes. As you can see by this hastily drawn belly dancing me, I could put a lot more time into it and do a way better job. But alas, my day calls with a list of things to do.

The other night I took a belly dancing class. I did! It was crazy and fun and totally up my alley. I don’t know why I’ve never looked into taking a class like this before. This class is taught by an older woman in her home. She and her home interest me the most. You can tell that she was really something in her day. She still has the body to prove it. She moves around the room like a twist of sinews. Her feet are veiny and narrower than her calves in a way that makes my tiny size 6.5 feet jealous. Her home is two stories and all wooden floors.

When we got there we knocked on the purple double door and nobody answered. We had to holler up to the second story window (that was open and light flooded out from it) to get her attention to come down and let us in. She was wearing a soft tan colored ballerina wrap-around shirt that tied in a bow at her rib cage. Her belly was wrinkled and hung lightly over her jingly belt and some sort of red satin sheet that was tucked up into her belt. She lead us up the dusty wooden stairs to her studio which was just a small bedroom with no furniture in it and mirrors lining one wall. The windows on the other side were open to the crisp night air.

We stood in the room kind of awkwardly staring at each other (there were just three of us and the teacher). The teacher popped a cd into the ancient CD player surrounded by stacks of ancient cds and we started our lesson. It turns out belly dancing is all in the feet! I had no idea. When you start out grounding your feet to the floor firmly and then lifting up your toes and heels to a beat, the whole belly shimmying thing is so much easier. Like really easy! Like maybe this could be my thing!

I loved it. We learned how to make snake arms and how to pop out our breast bones like opening up a book. It was really good for my ongoing effort to unlock my  better posture. The teacher was really kind to us and constantly told us we were doing well. We were doing so well that she began to teach us choreography to an actual dance but she would lose her place in the dance because she had to stop and teach us basic principles. At the end she let us pick out pretty scarves from a basket and we swirled them around each other in a circle. There we were waving our scarves in and out like children in beginning ballet. It was a blast.

Yoga, Crepes and Fast Food

I took a free yoga class at our local community center the other night. I think it was Wednesday. Bug came with me and we walked there. She was annoyed that I made her walk but I feel silly driving anywhere within a ten minute walking radius. And me, being me, I was stressed the whole time that we would be late. This is a pet peeve of Bug’s: I am always stressing about being late.  I do it constantly. I think it’s a symptom of anxiety. I am never late (except when I show up at the wrong place, which I do frequently). It’s just a quirk I have. I stress so therefore I am not late.

We got there 15 minutes early but nobody was there. Then right about 7pm when the class was supposed to start, my friend who was meeting us there called to ask where were were. Wouldn’t you know it, we were at the wrong community center. Thankfully, the correct community center was only a block away. How many community centers does a neighborhood really need?! I don’t know. We ended up walking into the dimly lit yoga class late. Everyone was laying on the ground with their eyes closed. Battery-operated tea lights flickered around the perimeter of the small room. It was very peaceful and zen.  My friend and I and her daughter tried to quickly shuffle in and find spots to spread out our yoga mats between the resting bodies. Bug was stuck at the door taking off her doc martins that take forever to unlace.  It was too dark to see if anyone was giving us side-eye but I’m sure they were.

The class was nice and uneventful. It was very slow and deliberate and I felt like I was really unlocking my power to not have bad posture. Something I’m working on lately.

I only mention the class because I happened to take my wallet with me because I thought I might need my ID to fill out some kind of waiver or something. I didn’t need it after all but because I brought my wallet with me I then left it in my yoga bag with our towels and water bottle and yoga mats.  Of course I forgot to get my wallet out of the sack and put it back in my regular purse until the next morning when I was in the drive-thru at Carls Junior with Bug, with only ten minutes until the school bell rang.

How did I get in a drive-thru at Carl’s you might ask? I hate fast food.  It went something like this: Bug woke up extra early to have breakfast before school. I was about to make her something like pancakes or crepes but we were out of everything. No milk. No eggs. No nothing. So I thought, Why don’t we go to the local Middle Eastern Market and get crepes that we love so much? We had time. We were early!

We drove to the market and nobody was cooking anything. All the food court counters were full of empty metal holding dishes. I should have known. Middle Easterners don’t get up early. Our favorite crepe guy was there but he was cracking eggs into a giant bucket and seemed to pointedly not notice us. No crepes were going to get made in time before school started. So I told Bug we could just walk around the store and find something to eat. She had the whole store to pick from! Poptarts? Granola bars? An apple? Nope. Bug was not having it. This is the struggle we have. She wanted protein, not pastries or even a doughnut from the doughnut shop next door.  Nothing was making her happy and now she was starting to cry because she was hungry and she had gotten her hopes set on crepes.

By now I’m feeling pretty bad and desperate so I suggested Carl’s Junior, it’s right across the parking lot. There is nothing else we can get and still make it to school on time. She reluctantly settled on chicken tenders, fries and a chocolate shake. Not a bad breakfast! I would protest on how unhealthy it was but Bug has been skin and bones lately because she is growing so fast. I remember when I went through this stage at her age clearly. I was so self conscious of my knee bones being bigger than my legs. So I let her eat anything she wants these days. Bring on the calories, I say.

I think this is a problem with parents my age. We are so hopeful of saving our kids from the painful experiences that we went through that we end up spoiling our kids rotten and they struggle to handle problems on their own. This is something I’m trying to fix but I’m failing miserably at because I do silly things like offer to take my kid out to breakfast before school. And then I feel guilty because I can’t keep my word so I try even harder to fix the situation.

We pull up to the drive thru window and I’m fishing around in my purse looking desperately for my wallet. Then it hits me. It’s in my yoga bag, at home. I explain this to an exasperated wide-eyed Bug. The drive-through lady is putting together our order and I am hopelessly stuck. How did I get us in such a mess? I make a quick executive decision. We will be late for school.

I flag down the lady, ask her to hold our food and speed home to get my wallet.  We will just have a special mother daughter morning and I will NOT stress about it. I can’t send Bug to  school hungry, crying and really angry at me. I just can’t do it. It was bad enough I made her walk with me to yoga last night and stressed the whole time about being late.

So there we were in the car in the parking lot behind the Middle Eastern market.  Bug eating her fast food breakfast of champions while trucks backed up to the loading dock behind us, beeping their back-up indicators all around us. We joked about the amazing non-existent ocean view while gardeners blew our car with their two-stroke leaf blowers. It was a beautiful morning and Bug thanked me for not forcing her to walk into school with a greasy-smelling paper bag full of fast food. She was twenty minutes late to Science class. But at least she didn’t hate me as much as usual.