Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I feel like it's only been a short time since I wrote the entry "six"... and yet here we are a year later. At "seven".

Dear Jaime,

Seven years. I think back on the me that you knew seven years ago and I can only hope that you are able to see who I am now. You would have been so proud of me. I'm getting back up on the stage, doing the thing we both loved best. You would actually be phenomenal in the show I'm in now... it's such a wacky comedy, full of the physical humor and comic timing you excelled at. I'm also mother to the most beautiful baby girl... you would adore her. I wish she could know you.

I still think about you all the time. Joe and I went to Vegas last week and we saw street performers in the Venetian and as always those silly human statues had me caught in a place between smiling and wanting to cry. I'm going to the beach this weekend and, while it's thankfully so much less painful to walk to the point now, I still find myself walking towards the houses more often than not. It's just a little easier that way. I'm also hoping to re-set the piece I choreographed for you in 2003 this year on some of my amazing students. Since it was my first real work of choreography I feel like I can make some changes to make it even better now... a better testament to what an inspiration you were in life... and how painful it was to lose you.

My life is very full at this point... I'm turning 26 next month and I feel like I'm exactly where I hoped I would be. My family is happy and always a joy to be with, Joe is working hard and supporting me and keeping us both laughing, Laine is healthy and happy and such a pleasure to be around, and I have found fulfillment through community theatre (which I'm sure you can relate to) and a job surrounded by exceedingly talented kids. But know that you are missed. Maybe not as constantly and achingly as you once were... but I think that's a good thing. But you are, and will always be, a hand print on my heart. I love you.


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Laine is good at many things. Drooling, for one. Throwing pacifiers out through the slats of her crib, for another. But if I had to name one I'd say that her greatest skill is making friends. Waiting in line at the grocery store (or Target, her fave), she'll tilt her head to the side so far it is almost resting on the handlebar of the cart and offer up her sweetest, two-toothed smile to the little old lady behind us. Or at a restaurant, she'll wave her slobbery-Puff covered fist in the air and coo at the couple dining near us until they have no choice but to engage her in conversation. My favorite (and a surefire winner) is when we're talking to someone unfamiliar while I'm holding her and she'll drop her head onto my shoulder and look up, batting her baby blues from under long eyelashes, pretending to the delight of the onlooker that she is meek and shy. She's got mad skills.

She was on her A-game the other afternoon when we visited the children's section of the Athens public library. As soon as I put her down, she crawled her way over to a group of kids sitting on a bench, sat back on her little padded behind, and grinned up at them charmingly. Fortunately for her, they were more than receptive. The coo-ed and aww-ed at her, showering her with chewed up baby books and worn out stuffed animals. She had them wrapped around her finger... especially the oldest girl, a self-proclaimed "expert at babies".

"You know what I love about babies? How they grab onto your shirt when you hold them. I bet she does that, doesn't she? They all do, you know," she said, holding her youngest sister on her lap and trying to pry a board book out of Laine's mouth. "And they like to chew on things. But this is a library book, so I won't let her."

Laine was amazed at this smaller-than-normal human. She gazed up at her, turning on the charm full force. Baby Expert scooped her up onto her lap and tried to read to her, fighting to keep the book out of Laine's fists and mouth.

"You should take her over to the doll house. Babies love dolls houses. Actually, I'll take her. Cause she might try to put stuff in her mouth again, right?

"Yep, probably."

"OK, well I'll keep an eye on her. You should look at the parenting books. They have a lot. And some of the books you can listen to in the car, which she might like. Especially fairy tales. Babies like fairy tales."

I was still stuck on the suggestion that I check out some parenting books. Clearly I was not yet to "expert" level and could use the guidance.

"They have board games too," she informed me while Laine gnawed on the dollhouse roof like a baby beaver. "Does she play board games? You could probably help her. There's one about Goodnight Moon, which you've probably heard of. She would like that. Babies like Goodnight Moon."

"Yes, we've read that one quite a few times."

"Well, you should get the game then. Babies like games."

I scooped Laine up, juggling our library books in the other arm, coaxing her to tell her new friend "bye-bye" ("Babies like to wave bye-bye, don't they?") and making for the exit, Baby Expert tagging along behind us.

"You should come back more," she said behind me. "This is a good place for babies to make friends. I've made lots of friends here when I come."

I think Laine has met her match.