Photo Credit: Beyonce’s instagram page
I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I had every intention to post, but the day had other plans for me: Playgroup implosion, freaking freezing walk home from the train, nap meltdown, three phone calls during my regular writing period, rushed cooking of dinner, community meeting, and then bed at 8:15pm. I mean, I freaking crashed. Didn’t even wrap my hair up, and you know that means I was out.
So, forgive me, yeah?
So this morning was really important. We had a preschool interview at one of the local private schools, one of three that we have applied to. This one is our number-one choice and I have been fretting about it for a week. I had outfits for all four of us planned out, I was up at 6:30 to make a hearty “actual” breakfast for all of us so that no one would be grumpy sleepy (“actual” breakfast is meat + eggs + grain/starch of some kind. “usual” breakfast is just yogurt and cereal. You know, weekday food). I also had to clean the kitchen from last night’s dinner, because that didn’t happen either (I done told you I was tired!). It all got done though. I looked great, The Husband looked great, the boys were in coordinating outfits, Ursa Minor had a spit-up explosion, but I deftly took care of it. We all got out of the house in good time. I was like “yeah, super mom.”
Now, I told you this was our number-one choice, though I have to admit to you that today was the first time that I had a chance to see the school. Of the three preschools of which we have applied to, I have now seen two (my husband has seen all three). The Husband described this one as a little less uptight as the other private formal school (the third school is a little less formal, with no curriculum beyond very basic stuff. The other two are Montessori schools). He said, however, that it is just as effective and it is in a convenient location in relation to his job. So we both were like, cool, this one goes to the top of this list.
I’m not going to say that it wasn’t nice. I just going to say that it wasn’t what I expected. The school has a very modern feel to it, and a very peaceful and happy Montessori feel, but….I don’t know what it is…there is just something about it that didn’t get to me like the other school did. I honestly think that i have a campus bias. The other Montessori school has a beautiful campus with green space dedicated just to it, with a white picket fence and buildings that look like a New England school house. This building is in the middle of this urban city, it’s next to a park, but that part is owned by the city (they have a small playground in between the campus buildings that connects everything), and then the building has more of an industrial feel… A more modern look. Everything else about it was fine. Friendly, warm, with pictures and flags and child-sized stuff. It was a school, no doubt about it. It just wasn’t idyllic in nature.
That really shouldn’t take it out of the running, right? That’s a stupid freaking reason to knocking back behind another school.
It’s off the chart expensive anyway, so even if we are accepted we might not be able to send Ursa Major there. “What’s expensive?” You ask? 5 mornings at this school are $20,000 for the school year. Full day is more. To be clear, that is about as much as full-time enrollement for 2 semesters at my undergraduate university (not including room and board). Holy mola, Batman!
The interview went well, I think. Ursa Major acted a bit of a fool, taking the baskets full of toys and immediately distributing them all over the interview room. He then proceeded to climb all over a few chairs, even being so kind as to not listen to my (gentle…through gritted teeth) redirection to not climb up here or under there. Ursa Minor decided to insert himself into the conversation by screeching loudly, his new favorite activity. She asked us various questions and we did our best to answer them. She asked Ursa Major a few questions, right after I redirected him, so his answers were a sad and semi-angry “no.” Awesome, dude.
Yeah, so that happened…
Then I get home, give the boys lunch, get them down for a nap, and pop in my Zumba DVD. I got the Exhilarate Box for myself, and had been having a lot of fun with the “Activate” DVD. The two girls are adorable, the moves are (fairly) easy to follow, I was really digging the music and I felt like I was getting a good workout during nap time. So, after taking a little break last week for…cyclical reasons….I decided I really wanted to go full throttle this week and bump up to the “Exhilarate” DVD, which is the full “dance party” experience. Bye-bye fun trainers, bye-bye easy to follow instruction, hello crazy ripped new guy and blonde chick, hello super fast paced and high octane.
I watched the warm up with my mouth open.
Then I turned it off.
Then I picked up the last brownie from the pan that we made a few days ago.
and I ate it in fatty fat despair.
and e-mailed my defeat to my husband.
and started writing this blog post.
I’m still in my exercise outfit, not a single drop of sweat shed.
Now don’t go feeling bad for me. That was my fault. Can’t bump up all cold turkey, and I should not have expected the “easy” DVD to extend to the regular DVD. That was just silly. On Thursday, I’ll go back to the baby beginner DVD and get back on the horse. then I’ll bump up to the regular DVD. I’m going on a beach vacation for the first time in 2 years at the end of August, and I refuse to look bumpy. I don’t need to look like a super-model, but I am not trying to look bumpy.
So we’ll be back on the Zumba.
Soooo, that happened….
I’m also going to write this now while it is still semi-relevant: I appreciate Beyonce’ this week.
Now listen, while Beyonce’ has a few featured tracks on my “I’m a badass/psych it up” playlist, I wouldn’t say that I’m her number one fan. I don’t find diva behavior to be endearing and I’m not sure if being a diva is something that we should aspire to teach our daughters. Indeed, I feel like all of the attention that we pay to her ends up allowing her to get away with egregious behavior, and we all make excuses for that behavior. Listen, she is certainly an entertainer and her ability to turn herself into a brand and an empire is admirable. I am not totally convinced that she is the greatest singer on Earth, but she certainly puts on a great show.
But here is what I do appreciate about Beyonce’. Beyonce’ is the exemplar of what it really means to be a Black woman: The need to be perfect, to look good, sound good, be good, always. Do it all, do it well, or don’t do it at all. That’s not just the creed of Black women, I know, it’s a creed of and for all women. But this is where it gets racial: Someone is always looking for you to screw up when you are a Black woman, and when you do, it’s a big freaking deal. And it takes a lot, often, to get out of it (if you are lucky enough to do so).
And I appreciate Beyonce’, here, for the grace in which she was able to transcend beyond the “fault” of lip-syncing during the Inauguration. It’s all anyone could talk about for 2 weeks. Much shade was thrown about after the news broke, and all week it was all anyone could do to sneak it into conversation. I would say that most people didn’t care about it, myself included. But I was curious, nonetheless, about how that halftime show was going to go. The a capella mea culpa of the National Anthem at the press conference that week was okay, it wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was nice. I liked how she set everyone up to be amazed. I loved the coverage the next few days. I like how she immediately shut off the controversy while ramping up the hype. It was a hell of a gamble. It took a lot of confidence to be able to do that. She said “I was born to do this” and I think that there were still some people out there who were just waiting for her to fail. I wasn’t expecting her to fail, but how could she possibly meet the expectations now, I thought? So I tuned in.
When she popped her collar while she did that signature strut to the front of the stage, I knew she was going to be awesome.
and she nailed it.
I mean, she really blew it out of the water.
And everyone shut the hell up.
And I was like, damn, girl!
And then she did something totally un-diva like. She decided to make the night not (just) about her. She gave credit to all of the women who shared the stage with her that day. It was a historic day, she appreciated it, and she reminded us about it. I really appreciate that. From beginning to end, she exemplified grace under pressure. She really, really did. That was awesome, and I give her props. I also give her props because we also learned about how much of a perfectionist she is, how hard she works to be who she is, how vulnerable and shy she is in her “real” life, and how human she is. Her new HBO documentary is coming out in a few weeks and she wants us to know that she’s a woman and a mother. Her job is to entertain you, and she works real damn hard at it. But in the end, she is a woman, a wife, and a mother. That is really cool. Because I’m a woman, a wife and a mother, too. And I think that each of us have had our own “Inauguration” moments, and some of us have risen to the challenge, and some of us have fallen short. I’m grateful for the very public example of what “rising to the challenge” should look like.
(That still doesn’t excuse all of the diva…)
(but, you know, I appreciate you.)
I know, I’m all over the place today, but that’s my week in a nutshell. And to think, it’s only freaking Tuesday. Post tomorrow, too! And it will be a juicy one, because we’ve got a pediatrician’s appointment. (Dom duh duh dom!)