Our Visit to Neverland

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

I believe in fairies. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I mean I don’t go around telling people that, but between you and I, I do.

For a story about fairies, flying, magical places beyond the stars and little boys who won’t grow up, Peter Pan is one of the most relatable stories ever written. As children we shout that we believe in fairies, we dream about what it would be like to fly to Neverland and we keep an ever-watchful eye for pirates.

But then we grow up, and the magic is lost somehow. Until we have our own children. And then, just as Wendy says goodbye to Peter in the end, the magic returns and the story only begins again with our own child.

Yesterday my own two darling children and I hopped on the train to San Francisco, a magical place in itself, to see the live production of Peter Pan at the three sixty Theater. I knew it would be special, but I had no idea it would be the most amazing live theater experience I’d ever seen.

When we saw the real Wendy, John and Michael fly through the air above us along with Peter and Tinkerbell my heart began to race. I looked over at my kids and both of them were sitting there with smiles on their faces and pixie dust in their eyes.

They were mesmerized.

And later when we all shouted that we believed in fairies so that we could save Tink’s life, I felt myself start to cry.

Patrick with Nate Fallows (Peter Pan)

Sometimes as adults the stress of life can be overwhelming. And the magic of childhood is only a distant memory, if we remember it all. But in that moment as I watched Tink light back up I remembered. I remembered what it was like to believe in fairies, and I remembered that magic still exists.

And in the last moments of the show, as Peter Pan smiled at Wendy’s girl Jane, for a moment I looked up and thought maybe somewhere there really is Neverland. Just maybe…

But lucky for us the magic did not end there. Thanks to a very generous invitation from SHNSF we were able to meet up with some of my favorite local bloggers and meet the cast of the show. All of them were so unbelievably sweet to my kids, only reinforcing the magic of the day.

Patrick & Cheyanne with Abby Ford (Wendy Darling)

I love the theater. I love classic books. And I love taking my kids on magical journey’s to places like Neverland. And I love that my kids think Pixie Dust is real and that fairies are never far away. And I won’t ever be the one to tell them otherwise.

“And because Peter never grew up, when Jane had her own children, they flew away with Peter too, and so it will always be, as long as there are children.”

Thanks so much to cast and crew of Peter Pan in San Francisco for an amazing day. And to SHNSF for putting together this event and allowing my kids and I to be a part of it.

Though SHNSF provided tickets to the show I was under no obligation to write this post or in any other way compensated for it.

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7 Links For You to Read

I’m taking the SITS Girls challenge on Blog Frog, 31 Days to a Better Blog. Today’s challenge was to write a list post (something I love to do) so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and also take part in another challenge from ProBlogger, the 7-link challenge.

So here is a list to 7 links from past blog posts you may have missed as well as a post that I didn’t write but wish I had.

Enjoy this look back and I’d love to hear feedback on any of the posts!

  1. My First Post – My first post was actually on my MySpace blog, but I did upload to Meg’s Idle Chatter when I first set it up. It was the first of many birthday posts I would go on to write. This one being about Patrick’s 4th birthday. It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging that long! Reflections on my Baby’s 4th Birthday
  2. The Post I Enjoyed Writing the Most – This post felt so good to write. It really felt like this was the kind of post that I was meant to be writing on this blog, Every Mom is a Working Mom
  3. A Post That Had a Great Discussion – This post didn’t just cause a discussion on my blog (see comments) but on MomConnect.com, Facebook, Twitter and even with moms I knew personally at my son’s school. Your Parenting Style and How Your Doing it Wrong
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that I wish I’d written – This was such a great post that I related to and shared on Facebook. This was another incident where I had moms at school thanking me for posting it on Facebook. The amazing Stephanie Himel-Nelson, better known as Lawyer Mama, wrote it. My Scarlet Letter H
  5. My most helpful post – If any regular readers would like to disagree, feel free, but I think that this post related to getting kids to read was the most likely to be helpful considering how many moms I know (including myself) have found this to be a major challenge. Tips on Getting Your Kids to Read
  6. A post with a title that I am proud of – Breastfeeding is always an important topic to me. And finding support for the difficulties that can sometimes be found when breastfeeding was one of my introductions in to the world of mommy blogging. So it was only fair that I eventually wrote a post on the topic and gave it a funny tongue in cheek play on words as a title. Breastfeeding Sucks
  7. A post that I wish more people had read – This was one of the most emotional and personal posts that I think I ever wrote. I cried writing it and sometimes still do. This man may have been just a director to some, but he was a major influence on me and I found it surprising difficult to say goodbye. I wish more people had come across this post. My Life According to John Hughes

Do you have a favorite blog post from this blog or any blog to share in the comments?

The Things Kids Say

IMG_7241The recent banning of fast food toys has been a pretty hot topic in our house. I had written a post about the ban and how I felt about it (which, for the record I am in support of) and last week my husband and I were chatting about the ban while we were all sitting down to dinner. My son was listening intently, and after having heard us moms chattering on about it at school and now mom and dad, he was forming his own thoughts on the whole thing.

We do eat at McDonald’s. It’s only been recently that I’ve finally tried to abandon our trips to McDonald’s all together. So it was a kind of tricky moment at the dinner table trying to explain to my 7 year old why I thought it was a good idea to ban the toys. My son considered this for a moment.

Finally I asked him what he thought of it. I mean here is a7 year old boy with a toy chest full of McDonald’s toys. He is the one who would be most affected by this ban (if it were to happen on our side of the hill), so I was curious.

“I feel bad for the poor kids.” Poor kids? I asked him what he meant. He explained to my husband and I that there are a lot families who can’t afford to go out to dinner a lot. And they can never afford new toys. But sometimes they can go to McDonald’s. They get to go out to dinner AND get a new toy. How can that be bad?

His big blues eyes looked up at us and he spoke in a quiet tone. He really meant what he was saying. My heart grew about 20 sizes right then and there.

Now, my son’s argument isn’t going necessarily to change the way I feel about the ban. But it was the only argument I heard that made me stop and think a little bit more about it.

We don’t always have a way to gauge the kind of job we’re doing as parents. But sometimes, our children will open up their mouth to speak and say something that makes us, if even for just a moment, think, “Yea, we’re doing OK.”

This is an original post to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

The Dating Habits of Preschoolers

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So there’s this boy in my daughter’s preschool class. His older brother just happens to be in the same Boy Scout den as my son.  It wasn’t too much of a surprise when the boy and my daughter became best buddies. They see each other all the time plus they get along, no big deal. But then about two months ago my daughter starting calling him her “boyfriend.” Now this didn’t really bother me at first, in fact it came across as cute. I shrugged it off. But it continued.

The two have since become inseparable at school and at Boy Scout functions. They hold hands and walking around together and stuff. And now in the last week she has declared that she is in love with him, as he is with her, and that they are going to get married.

I’m active in the class, know the family and know that there is nothing to really be concerned about. But I can’t help but be a little taken aback. I mean, she’s five!

I don’t want her to be establishing quite so much emphasis on marriage at five. I don’t want her to automatically think she has to get married when she grows up. Right? I also want her to be able to establish friendships with boys that don’t revolve around labels like boyfriend or girlfriend.

I know that in another two months the school year will be over and they’ll be going to Kindergarten at different schools. A part of me is relieved but another part of me feels bad because she knows they won’t be together next year.

I guess it’s no big deal. And I guess it’s just another one of those things that us moms supposed to just let roll of our backs.

But let me just say, for the record, that if I ever get around to writing a book about parenting this is so getting it’s own chapter.

This is an original post to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

A Day at the Carnival

Photo-47 This past weekend was the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin (Dublin, Ca NOT Ireland). The weather was superb and the food smelled better than anything else I can ever remember. It was everything a good local festival should be. First we listened to some good Celtic music (Tempest rocks) then we filled up on festival food. Then it was time to get some ride tickets and hit the midway. It was by no means a huge midway, but it had a decent
amount of rides on it.

First thing was first and the kids headed straight for the first bouncy house they saw. My husband and I milled around outside in the sun with the other parents and listened to the screams of laughter coming from inside while the sounds of Celtic music filled the air. When the kids were done with that we asked what ride they wanted to go on next. As we walked down the midway in the sun the kids stopped in front of the boat.

You know the one that rocks back and forth getting higher and higher with each rock. It was by no means anywhere near as large or as high as the Revolution at Great America or anything, but still my immediate instinct was to make sure they were tall enough. And for the first time ever both kids were tall enough. So we got in line. And instantly I realized that we, the adults, weighed more than the maximum. This ride was just for kids. They were going to have to go on it alone.

I guess maybe for some moms this would be a moment that just simply comes and goes. Maybe because I’m a writer, this moment felt like more than just a moment. I watched my kids get strapped in and I watched the look on their faces as the ride began to sway back and forth and pick up speed. I watched and my heart leapt from my chest.

How is it my kids are old enough to ride a carnival ride alone? How did this small but significant step come so fast? How is they can feel the joy, anxiety, fear and exhilaration of a carnival ride without me? How did time pass so quickly.

Maybe I’m just a little emotional because within the next two weeks my kids will each have birthdays where they’ll be turning seven and five. Maybe it’s because St. Patrick’s Day always stirs up so many of my own childhood memories.

Maybe it was just a ride.

But I don’t think so.

This is an original post to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

Our First Pinewood Derby

Photo-46 One of my all time favorite movies growing up was Ron Howard’s Parenthood (a movie that has become a hot topic once again since the recent premier of the show by the same name being filmed right here in the East Bay). And as funny as I thought it was as a kid the movie took on a whole different meaning once I was not only an adult, but as a parent.

One of the best parts of the movie is when during a Little League game Steve Martin’s son makes the winning catch. Steve Martin’s reaction, as the dad, is hilarious and his entire outlook on life changes based on the winning catch.

Well recently we lived out the scene. We’ve been going through some rough times lately. Nothing worse than anyone else on this day and age, financial struggles intermixed with job troubles can create a pretty dark cloud over life. We were having a particularly stressful weekend two weekends go. And it was the day of our son’s first Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. My husband and son had been working on the car for weeks. But all of us were in such
crappy moods, that none of us wanted to go.

But as anyone involved in scouts knows, the Pinewood Derby is a huge deal. And we hopped into the car and headed over. We hung around and waited for the Tiger Scouts to compete and then for our son’s first heat.

1st place.

We screamed and shouted. Then he raced again. And POW! First place again.

Race after race he place first except for one where he placed second. By the end we were those annoying parents screaming and shouting every time he won. My husband was on the verge of tears. We were Steve Martin in Parenthood.

It’s amazing how much the little moments of parenthood can change you. How the look on your son’s face when he shows you his first place trophy can touch a place in your heart that you never knew was there.