Standing in the Shadows

Singing and Sweating

There are a few burning questions to my summer. One of them is this: How did I get so overcommitted as a volunteer? It’s akin to potato chip consumption in that a few are fine, the open bag in the pantry, though, that becomes dangerous. I give an assist here, another there and then whoosh down the rabbit hole of volunteerism I go. Bam.

The over-volunteer issue makes sense as one for me to toil over repeatedly. I am a doer. I am a connector. I am, not Olivia Pope fashionable or tough, a fixer in my own right (congratulations on your Emmy nod, Kerry Washington!).

Here’s the thing. I love my alma mater, Hampshire College. I love our preschool, Sunnyside (lucky you if you have toddlers or young preschoolers; there are a few openings for September in brand-new digs). I heart the Food StampsX2 initiative at Tuesday Market (did you hear that we’re having another PIE contest? It’s to benefit Food StampsX2). I am awed by the work National Priorities Project does.

I guess there are worse problems on the planet (don’t get me started about the planet).

Otherwise, it’s been so humid and oppressive that I lost any ability to feel like summer’s been at all fun. However, I found photos from our last week Hootenanny class and I have to say, the Hoots experience has been so much fun. I almost didn’t sign us back up for the summer session (our first go round was in the spring) because the BFF’s weren’t in but my music-loving eldest son insisted that in order to prepare for her future at IMA, Saskia needs music class. In fact, with friends but not the BFF’s she’s had more fun with the singing part. He was so right to push. He’s even come to class. The three of us share in our adoration for the CD’s, too. And I even get to stare at cheeks so scrumptious I cannot practically stand it.

Plus, it was hot and the girl asked (demanded) Herrell’s after class. Who could say no to that?

Also fun have been the first two Paintbox Theatre performances, Little Red Riding Hood and Once Upon A Cool Motorcycle Dude. There’s one more show next week; it’s King Kong, Jr. I have been assured multiple times and from more than one person that it is not scary. Saskia drew a portrait of Tom McCabe, artistic director of Paintbox. That’s his round mouth belting out, “Good Morning!” when he greets the audience.

Summer isn’t a total wipeout, not yet. That’s one thing I’m grateful for on this humid Tuesday that’s not a billiondy degrees at least. Two more things: Connie Britton’s Emmy nod and how very tickled I am by the Royal baby. I mean, I went to Saint Mary’s for prenatal care when I was expecting my baby boy, gender not yet known. Suddenly, in retrospect, my pregnancy was a bit fancier than it seemed at the time, now that I have so much in common with Kate Middleton.

Three to share:

The opportunity to write for Brain Child about adoption has been very illuminating for me. This week, I’ve written about that thing you kind of say theoretically about open adoption—the chance to know your medical history. In truth, as pertinent and helpful as the information is, the love that Saskia’s grandmothers share with us is again the gift I couldn’t have anticipated.

I read a wonderful essay on Salon about living with anxiety. On a lighter note, I read about a summer in New York as a collegiate intern for Mademoiselle. Also, on a very hot night, we read Snowballs.

Well, one of my favorite songs, "Nothing in this World Will Ever Break My Heart Again," from Nashville got an Emmy nod, too. I am not one to pass up this opportunity to share the song with you.

© 2014 The Valley Advocate