Crazy? Why, yes, I am.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Mustangs and Jeeps.

The first new car I purchased when I graduated from college and got a job was a dark green 1991 Mustang Coupe. I was driving a Mercury Tracer that my Dad bought for me.

TRACER

Mine was a two-door but it was dark blue and missing the quaint European-inspired landscape. Dad taught me how to drive stick in this car and this vehicle got me through college.

I had my eye on a sports car and the Mustang had my name all over it.

 

MUSTANG

Unlike this photo, it wasn’t a 5.0, but as this photo shows, the salesman thought the driver should be male. When I told him I wanted standard transmission instead of automatic, the conversation started getting awkward. For him.

“I don’t think you want a standard,” he said, with a knowing tone in his voice. Patronization was the order of the day.

“Actually I do.” I responded. “I’m driving a stick now.”

He’s not listening to me.

“You know, when you bring that car back to me, I’m going to have to sell it as a second car, you know the second car of the household, and that’s usually the wife driving that car, and women just don’t drive standards.”

Crickets.

I give that statement a moment to settle and then I state the obvious.

“Last time I checked, I was a girl. I’m looking at buying this car, not selling it, and I want it to be a standard.”

I loved that car. We called it The Ditch Pig because it was rear wheel drive and it loved the sides of the roadway. When First Born Son came along, we knew we couldn’t keep The Ditch Pig for long. The little bucket seat was barely fitting in the back seat and when the time came for FBS to be front facing, the car was going to have to go. We traded my car for my Dad’s 1990 Lumina.

LUMINA

What I lost in a model year, I gained in a proper back seat. We kept it for a couple of years then moved into a couple of other vehicles. When my Dad was done with The Ditch Pig, Little Sister traded him for it. It was fun to drive and lasted forever.

After the Lumina we had a number of family-friendly vehicles. We even took FBS’s goalie bag to shop for an SUV so we knew it was big enough to handle the oversized bag. Many a weekend we had FBS and Second Born Son’s hockey bags stacked in the back. Vehicles were merely modes of transportation. It had been a long time since I was as excited about driving as I was when I bought my first car.

Then it happened. FBS bought his truck and while he was finalizing the deal, I found myself stepping into a Jeep for a test drive. SBS came with me because was getting sick of all the truck talk. We loved it. Only problem was, it was a two-door and as long as we have a 6’2 kid at home, he needs to fit in our vehicle! The timing wasn’t right and as much as I loved the Jeep, it just wasn’t time.

The reminders were all around us. The Big Guy kept pointing out every. single. time he saw a Jeep. Then we saw THE Jeep.

2017-07-18 11.52.16

It was in a parking lot at Wasaga Beach. I turned to TBG and I said, “THAT’S the Jeep I want.” It was big, it was aggressive looking and had attitude. I was in love. I think I scared TBG, but he was secretly pleased at the same time.

With a little research, I find out it’s a special edition – the 75th Anniversary Edition Unlimited to be exact. A limited number of 2016 and 2017 Wranglers have some custom features that made for a pretty impressive ride.

But, we did already have a vehicle and again, the timing wasn’t right.

Then this happened.

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Perhaps it’s difficult to see, but this was my latest vehicle. It is exactly one car width too far to the right. It’s almost in the flower bed. This is not good. I was trying to back up to gain some moment for a drift ahead of me, when the granular snow pulled me off the driveway. This has never. happened. before. To me, it was a sign.

In January, with some inspired timing, I noticed a new 75th Edition was being discounted at the same dealership FBS had purchased his truck. A couple of phone calls and we had ourselves a deal.

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure we actually had a deal until we were leaving the dealership and were driving the new vehicle home. I gotta say, there was a little bit of shock settling in.

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Yes, it’s black. Three out of the last four vehicles have been black. Yes, TBG likes to wash cars. It has features I didn’t know I’d want and a couple I’m pretty sure I don’t need. Regardless, I’m thrilled with it and love driving again. TBG loves driving it, and while SBS was a little hesitant at first, he’s enjoying it as well. The only draw-back is we had to postpone his driving test so he can have a couple of months to get used to the new wheels.

For the most part, people are usually pleased to hear that someone has a new vehicle. The odd one (emphasis on odd) looks at this beast and thinks I’m going through a mid-life crisis. I would suggest that this is actually what all grown ups aspire to – having the things they can enjoy while they are still young enough to enjoy them. God! That sounds like I’m really getting up there! I just feel that you shouldn’t have to wait until you are retired, or until the kids are married, or until….whenever, before you enjoy some fun things in life. I’ve told TBG that this vehicle is going to last me a long, long time. We’ll enjoy driving with the top down in the summer, and I’ve already put the 4-wheel drive to good use this winter.

So I’m ok with people saying I’m crazy for wanting this vehicle. They don’t have to like it, and they don’t have to pay for it. I’m doing both, gladly.

They probably couldn’t get up into it anyway.

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Helicopter Vs Public Transit Parents

Were you as shocked as I was to learn a BC father had to be told his four children could not take public transit without him until the eldest child was 12?

Were you as shocked as I was to learn they have been doing this for a year? That math means that he was preparing a 9 year old to ride a city bus while supervising siblings. What. The. Hell.

The father’s position is that he rode the bus with his children for two years to prepare them for this transition to independence. He feels the government, who made this decision, is “infantizing citizens” and reinforcing Helicopter Parents.

<PAUSE> Helicopter Parents – parents who create an environment of fear or anxiety based on real or perceived dangers to their child. Can also be a parent who cannot respect boundaries within the parent/child relationship and insists on being present for all aspects of the child’s physical, emotional and psychological development. As a result the child often feels incapable of functioning with the presence of said parent. <PLAY>

Apparently he has enough support that a GoFundMe page has been started to help him with his legal costs. No. I’m not linking it here.

In an age when people are bemoaning the fact that kids are growing up too quickly, why would anyone support a parent who is putting such a load of responsibility on their child? I’m sure I’ll be inundated with tales of readers who had a great deal of responsibility at young ages. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of accountably and responsibility. I’m just not sure making an elementary school child responsible for younger siblings on a public mode of transportation in the 8th largest city in Canada is the way to go about it.

The other side of this story would be that if something happened to these children, voices would be raised in outrage that NOONE did ANYTHING about these vulnerable children who were in an inappropriate situation. Let’s hope at some point this father realizes that at best, he’s been saved from an embarrassing situation, and at worst, a dangerous one.

 

 

The Little Boy Who People Said Couldn’t, Became the Man Who Did

I will never forget this moment for the rest of my life. I’m sitting at a teeny, tiny desk with The Big Guy, First Born Son’s Grade 1 teacher and the school principal. They are trying to tell us that while our son is lovely and polite, cooperative and friendly, he is a poor student. So much so, that the teacher is telling us that she believes he has ADHD.

I remember how I felt in that moment. That they got it wrong. In a big way. Here was a kid who had a vocabulary that rivalled most teenagers. He already knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life; be a farm, drive a truck.

When TBG and I voiced our doubt of this off the cuff diagnosis of his academic failure, we were told we were in denial.

<PAUSE> It is my opinion in this day and age, that the label ADHD is a quick “bandaid” solution that is far from a quick fix. I know people whose children legitimately fall into this category. We also knew from TBG’s aunt, a retired teacher who worked most of her career with ADHD and children on the autism spectrum, that FBS was absolutely NOT ADHD. If this was the case, we absolutely would have followed up on this. We were told we were trying to avoid a problem. I felt it was insulting to children who had this disorder and their families, to simply throw ADHD at parents as a “solution”. <PLAY>

I suggested that he be held back a year, and was told, no, not a good idea, because he would have issues with his peers. I shot back with “you worry about his education and I’ll worry about his social life.” He wasn’t held back.

EDUCATION

They told us we should expect that FBS might not graduate from high school. We should keep our expectations low. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone tell you that the future for your child has already been set for him, and it isn’t good.

We knew early on that we would have a struggle with FBS and his academic endeavours. Hours upon tear-filled hours were spent wrestling with math, reading and science. The only class he truly enjoyed, and seemed to do well in, was gym. French was a nightmare, exaserbated by the fact that the French teacher didn’t like that learning didn’t come easily to him. She just wanted to teach the easy learners.

This became a pattern in school; the teachers who didn’t want a challenge, were harsh. The teachers who knew he was trying were kind, but still didn’t know how to help. In Grade 6, a glimmer of hope. The teacher gave him an award for his positivity and outstanding efforts. For the first time since Kindergarten, FBS felt he was good at something in school. It was a turning point. Unfortunately it would take two more years before another teacher would make the effort FBS needed.

In the mean time, his self esteem plummeted. He was frustrated by his lack of ability to understand his school work, which was compounded by bullying that started in Grade 3. So much for keeping him with his peers!

It was his Grade 8 teacher who took the time to look into what was going on with our son. Testing, research and investigation paid off in time for high school where FBS became strong academically. It came down to this; what takes most people three or four times to understand, takes many more times for FBS. He can understand if he ‘s shown HOW to do it, and not simply told. He needs to keep math in front of him throughout high school, especially once he’s determined he wants to get into welding, a skill that requires ALL the math. Learning tools were offered and implemented. We immediately saw a difference in our son, and his schooling, but it would take years before he could truly hit his stride.

In his Grade 12 year, he told his father and me that he wasn’t going to to his graduation. We replied with, “The hell you aren’t!” It was at that time that we told him what was said in Grade 1, that he’d been written off by a system that didn’t take the time to collect students who fall through the cracks. It gave him pause. He didn’t realize how far he’d home; the obstacles he’d faced and triumphed.

He went to his high school graduation. He was an Ontario Scholar, on the Honor Roll and achieved his Specialist High Skills Major. Not bad for a kid who’s highest expectation would be to sweep floors at Tim Hortons.

FBS then applies to college and is accepted at his first choice. He wins not one, but two awards for his outstanding work over his two-year program. It’s obvious the story of his perseverance in elementary school is motivating him in college.

Today he graduated from that program. He’s been hired at a reputable company and will be making more money than I am!

A couple of weeks ago, he decided take some of his saved funds and splurge on his first new vehicle. It’s a truck.

Tonight, as we left a dinner with family to celebrate his graduation, he made a startling revelation.

“You know, I’ve accomplished just about everything I wanted to; I got into the college I wanted, I graduated, I got a job welding and I got a truck. All I need now is a farm!”

We have no doubt that will happen. And we look forward to cheering you on, as you prove everyone wrong.

Congratulations Sweetheart! Could not be prouder!

 

Aren’t You Afraid You Asked?

Welcome to October. You may be saying, “It’s about bloody time! Where have you been?!”

I am fully aware that my last blog post was in August, but folks, there weren’t no way in Tarnation that this girl was going to have the time or brain cells to publish anything cohesive in September.

To be clear, I’m not a huge fan of September. It’s always a rush to get the kids back to school, and although it’s nice to have a change of routine, its usually to a much more hectic routine. Then there’s the weather. Although this September might have been an exception to the rule depending on where you live, it always rains on September 22 where I live. Always. I know this because that is my birthday.  Again, not a fan.

But this particular September was especially chaotic.

First Born Son started his second (and final) year of college.

<PAUSE> Can I just take a moment to say, WHAT THE HOLY HELL HAS HAPPENED HERE? FBS is a CHILD! It’s impossible to think that he’s ready for the “real world” in less than a year. Who determined this? I’d like a review on this decision. I call foul on the play! I APPEAL!! If you are looking at your child right now and he/she is under the age of 10 BE PREPARED. You are going to go to bed one night and wake up with them driving, drinking (not at the same time – he was born with a brain) and ready to cash their first full-time pay cheque! I understand the going to college thing, but the GRADUATING from college? NOT. COOL.

 

PRETTY BOY POUT 1

Yup, I’m going to trot this picture out any time I have a chance!!!

Truly people THIS is what he looked like last week! It’s ok….I’m better now…. <PLAY>

So this kid moved in with three other friends into a brand new apartment complex. It’s nicer than anything he’s ever lived in before. Hell, it’s nicer than anything I’VE ever lived in before, which should set him up nicely for a lifetime of disappointment, frustration and failure knowing his living arrangements peaked at 19 years of age.

Second Born Son is away from home more often than not! A number of school trips for various educational and extra-curricular commitments means that he’s constantly bringing home permission forms and asking for signed cheques! When he’s not broadening his horizons, he’s at work, heading to work, or just coming home from work. No worries here with his work ethic!

At least he’s home on weekends. My niece, MM, moved OUT, as in “has a different permanent address” at the beginning of September. How did Little Sister take this development? Well, that’s a good question. I believe she thinks she packed up her eldest daughter, who is also her co-worker, in a box when she relocated her salon. Yes, moving a business is a huge undertaking, and one that LS knows well. She’s done it twice now. You would think she would have remembered how much it sucked the first time!

Because we Bowery Girl sisters believe in drawing all the B.S. the Universe has to offer, LS also sold her house late this summer. This resulted in a closing date of late September. Great news for her, but it launched a chain reaction of events, as she had an offer in on our parents’ home. This meant my Mom was going to be moving in September too. Sweet Baby Jesus what have we gotten ourselves into here?!? LS was packing her house, packing her work, renovating her new work location, moving her work and then moving her home. Yes, I agree, she DOES hate herself. While we tried to help as much as we could, she still had to live with the day to day of upheaval everywhere she looked in her personal and professional lives. She’s amazing. Or crazy. Or amazingly crazy.

Now moving can be a very emotional experience. Personally, I didn’t find it so hard when I moved from our first house to our current house, but I know my Mother had a lot invested in her home. She helped design it, was the general contractor when it was built, provided countless hours of personal sweat equity and lived there longer than any other home she has resided in. This was going to be tough for her. A saving grace was the fact that LS and her hubby Thing 2 were going to be there so it would be loved and maintained, but I’m sure the first time she walks in and sees painted wood, my mother will have a stroke.

As with any challenge, a job half planned is a job half-assed. No. A job well planned is a job nearly done. No. Well, anyway, we had a strategy which was that we would treat it like a Band-Aid; just rip that puppy off and get it over with all at once. That is, get a truck once, move twice. Yup, we were going to try to move two households in one weekend. I must say I am somewhat disappointed in my circle of friends, none of whom had the nerve to say, “Hey Sarah, you are bat-shit crazy to be part of this.” Nope, they did the equivalent of smile and wave as I marched off into battle.

It didn’t help that I went into the weekend very tired, since my work required that I attend a week-long exhibition that involved standing outdoors in a tent with various lighting and temperature conditions. By the time Friday came, I was most definitely punch-drunk. See what I indicated above about the Universe. Not. Kidding.

As we all know, there are some do’s and don’ts for moving, and while I would think they are universal, apparently some people didn’t get the memo. While most of the moving went smoothly, there are always one or two people that you wish you could choke with their coffee cup or at least ask them to secure child care for their pre-school aged children. It’s never a good thing to roll a piano on a toddler! No, not referring to my nieces and nephew, who works like soldiers the entire weekend.

But I digress.

At the end of the day…er weekend, we had two households in two different households. Mom was fairly settled, while LS has pretty much the next 6 months worth of weekends planned out for her. If she and her hubby aren’t building shelving, they are going to be in the garage sorting the possessions that preceded them in the multiple trips that were made with non-essential items. That’s when she gets over her version of the wicked cold we all developed the day after the move. If the Universe had an arse, I’d be kicking it right about now….

So “in a nutshell”, “alls well that ends well”, or “at the end of the day”, or “we can all look back and laugh” or some other such tie-a-bow-on-it statement we survived, barely.

I jokingly told The Big Guy that since Mom and LS had new homes, it kinda gave me the “new home” real estate itch!

He just started talking to me again yesterday….

 

 

 

Full Circle Moment

Once upon a time, a little boy invited all his friends in his neighbourhood to come to his house on his birthday. The date was set and his friends promised to come.

The day of the event rolled around. All of the children from the neighbourhood arrived at the allotted time, dressed for a party with gifts in hand.

The only problem was, it wasn’t the little boy’s birthday at all. And he hadn’t told his parents about his guests. His mother, mortified, sent the children home. With their presents.

This took place approximately 70 years ago.

******

Last week, First Born Son came home told and told me about a conversation he had with the young son of a family friend. His birthday was coming up and he wanted to invite FBS to his party.

“You can bring your Mom too!” he stated, and FBS recounted with a laugh.

Touched by the young man’s thoughtfulness, and chuckling over his precociousness, I headed out to find the perfect gift. Two John Deere T shirts for a “hard working” young man.

Although FBS couldn’t join me due to his work schedule, I took the gift to the wee lad’s house. There was no party. His parents weren’t even home from work. His grandmother, who is a caregiver for him and his older sister, was taken aback to when she came to the door. The boy and his sister were delighted to see me, and he gleefully took the gift and shredded the colourful paper. The grandmother sputtered appreciation for the gift, how kind the gesture was, how unexpected, how her daughter and son-in-law would be surprised to learn their son, the birthday boy, had made such a bold invitation.

This boy’s birthday was June 10.

The first story is about my father. His birthday was June 9.

The only thing more striking is the resemblance between this little boy and his grandson at the same age.

The only thing more striking is the resemblance between this little boy and his grandson at the same age.

Although it’s been two years since he passed, I found it somewhat comforting that this story, that he told us many times, came to me in the moment that I realized that I was invited to a party that wasn’t happening; for a young man who just wanted to have some people over to celebrate.

Happy Birthday Duddy!

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Momma Bear

There are certain moments that are seared in your mind that when you reflect back on them, you aren’t just look back, but you find yourself IN that moment.

For me, it’s in Grade 10. I’m standing at the front of the classroom and I’m turning in to the teacher my  textbook for a Basic Bookkeeping class that I am dropping. Being the person I was back then, I don’t know how I didn’t pass out from the stress and anxiety. Being the person I am now, I’ll like to punch that asshat in the mouth.

It started innocently enough. My Mother is a wiz at math and felt that an entry level accounting course would serve me well. The course description certainly sounded appealing, even for a low-functioning mathematician like me. [Insert laugh track here]. I was terrible at math. It started in Grade 3 when the teacher of my split Grade 2/3 class told my Mother that I was a clever girl and that I’d figure out multiplication on my own; she had other students (namely those in Grade 2) who really needed her help. She was wrong. But, we all have our strengths, and since I never planned to become an accountant, we didn’t sweat it.

However, a Basic Bookkeeping course offered to enlighten the student on how to balance a chequebook, how to calculate interest and develop a budget. You know, simple life skills that all people should have. I was excited to learn “real world” stuff and not B.S. math like Trig and Algebra. [It should be noted that I ROCKED Algebra, something I attributed to the fact it was the only math that had LETTERS!]

I knew within moments that I. Was. Screwed. The teacher was a short, portly man with thinning white hair. I am still amazed that they made belts that long. Even though it was the 80s, this man was from a time much farther in history. His lessons were confusing, incomplete and complex. Within two weeks, I was behind. By the midterm exams, [Yes Virginia, you used to have to write the mid term exam to be exempt from the final exam. Can we discuss how ancient I am another time?] my chances of passing were slim to none. My Mother helped with my homework as I turned myself into knots. An experienced bookkeeper in her own Right, she was stunned at the course material. There were no references to personal finance, rather, we were being taught the same material that she herself was paid to do for a corporation. Spreadsheets for God sake!

My parents went to Parent-Teacher night when Little Sister and I were in elementary school, but I can honestly only remember once that my Mother attended the high school Parent-Teacher night. It was to address this teacher. We went together, since she wanted both sides of the story at the same time. Teachers were stationed in the gymnasium with parents cuing up to speak with the teachers in a civilized fashion.  Around the gym were teachers and parents have conversations, except for at one desk, which was empty. My teacher’s desk. There was a line up of parents several feet deep, with my Mother being second in the line. When it became evident that this particular teacher had no intention of attending, the parents started talking. Quickly we found out that most of the students were in risk of losing the credit. Even the most clever, numerically gifted were struggling.

Fed up, Mom left the line up and searched for the Vice Principal. He happened to know us from when he was the VP at our elementary school and he knew full well that we weren’t the type of family to blow smoke about a situation. They discussed the frustrations I was having, and he agreed with the need to speak directly to this teacher. With his help, Mom found the teacher.

And then she ripped him a new asshole.

I had honestly never seen my mother like this. She started calmly, logically, and when this sad excuse of an educator started giving her attitude she dropped the hammer on him and turned into a Momma Bear. The last thing I remember was walking away with her and seeing the other parents moving in for the kill. While I wouldn’t have assumed he would have survived the evening, he did live to die another day.

That night it was decided that I would drop the class, and take a SPARE! Yes, the world was ending.

Mom joined me in the guidance office the next day,  with a very sympathetic counsellor, who agreed leaving the class was the best option. I simply needed to turn in my text book.

Brilliant idea.

I walked in shortly after the bell rang and the rest of the class was seated. When I walked to his desk to hand him the text book, he stood up and without moving a muscle, save for his tongue, proceeded to rip me apart.

The Coles Notes version is:

  • I was a pathetic student
  • I was a quiter
  • I was never going to amount to anything in life
  • His course was the cornerstone to success, with I was never going to have
  • He did wish me luck with the rest of my life, although something tells me that was not a genuine sentiment.

I can still remember what it felt like to stand at the front of that class. I was a head taller than this man but his words hit me and flew by me like shrapnel. It was surreal. I could see the students in my peripheral vision. They were almost as traumatized as I was. I could see them pitying me and envying me at the same time. Most of them looked down at their desk. Some of them, as though they were watching a train wreck couldn’t look away. And I suppose it was a wreck of a fashion. A teacher destroying a student.

This impacted me for a long time. Until I realized, the man was wrong. I didn’t respect him. I didn’t like him. Therefore, his opinion of me didn’t matter. No one I cared about felt the same way he did. He was an angry, bitter man. Maybe he was jilted by a Sarah back in his hay day and I was going to pay the price. Maybe he didn’t like the crick in his neck that he developed when he had to talk to me. Regardless, from that time forward, I cared less and less about what other people thought of me. I had support and I was raised to be strong. I cannot imagine what it would have been like for me if I hadn’t had that support and strength.

But when Second Born Son came to me with a serious problem last week that involved the classroom. I knew what had to be done. Much is written about the beauty of teachers who are the foundation of a child’s success; how their love of learning shapes and nurtures a child for the rest of their lives. [And we value the ones who have touched us! CR ❤ Sadly, there are small minority whose impact is much less desirable, and scarring. They too can impact a child for a lifetime.

So fret not; SBS has support. And he has strength. And he has a Momma Bear.

 

Art Imitating Life

It’s amazing how you can be living your life and a message from the Universe will just come along and smack you upside the head. In this case, it was at a high school where I was to experience my first Improv Competition!

Second Born Son was sufficiently vague about what an Improv Competition was. He had spent countless hours at school after class with his Improv team, but until now, we had never seen them in action. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure how it could be a competitive endeavor, but in my campaign to be Mother Of The Year, I didn’t bother pressing for details, instead I told him I’d be there! And I was. Inspire of a laundry list of jobs, errands, and a trek across Southwestern Ontario.

I roar into the parking lot with minutes to spare and inhale fast food takeout in the parking lot. With a stomach full of indigestion, I slip and stumble across the icy parking lot and wonder how long it would take someone to find me if I took a header between the vehicles. Safely inside, the cute, if not overly smiley greeter advised me that I’d want to take my coat off. It was really hot in the auditorium. Oh, and I’d have to wait to enter between performances. Oh, and it was $10 to get in. I cursed SBS under my breath and prayed I had $10 to my name after an impressive bathroom shopping spree. (No I’m not posting on that freakin’ bathroom again until it’s done!)

Applause indicates that we have a break and I gain access to the “auditorium” which is only the size of a standard classroom. There is a small stage along the far wall and raked seating which starts a the entrance where I’m standing. There is. no. room. As in, if I’m going to have to be in this “auditorium”, it’s if I’m sitting cross-legged on the second last step from the bottom, only 5 ft from the stage.  Then I’m hit by the heatwave. The soaring, humid temperature is understandable, as I’m sure we are exceeding the fire department’s recommended occupancy level and illuminated by dozens of stage lights. Body odour is a given.

SBS is sitting onstage with his team, along with five other secondary school teams. His cheeks are bright red from the intense heat in the room. If that wasn’t enough, the volume of the organizers, participants and the audience makes for a truly overwhelming experience. Slowly I figure it out. The teams have various categories to perform. Sometimes they require audience input before they start. Each “scene” starts with an audience countdown. Each one ends with a theme-related song hand picked by an invisible DJ. The wave of enthusiasm washes over the less enthralled.

Each teenager in the room that is performing has enough energy ON THEIR OWN to power a Red Bull factory. Times four to six teammates, times six teams! It’s loud. It’s beyond hot and it’s draining to see all these young people with so much bloody energy!

Naturally, the highlight was seeing SBS in action.

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And then to realize how GOOD he was at this! How quickly these team members could move in and out of a scene and come up with new ideas on the fly.

2016-02-27 13.53.53

You forget about the heat. And the noise (mostly because you are now adding to it) and it becomes about the performance. What the performers onstage are doing, they had no idea they would be doing 10 minutes earlier. They are doing the best they can, and supporting each other.

At the end of the day, SBS’ team ranked in the middle of the pack, which thrilled all the teammates. It was their first competition and they felt it was worthwhile. While I was please for them, and proud of SBS in particular, one of the most memorable aspects of the day was the closing remarks by the competition host.

He pointed out that Improv is like no other performance art. Participants must react and respond on the spot, without rehearsal, without a script, character profile or a novel to draw from. There is no director, second chance, editing, do-overs or re-recordings. Just. Like. Life. He encouraged the audience to take the experience home with them and remember the laughter, excitement and creativity they had just witnessed.

This parallel really affected me.

My day, and in fact the entire week prior, had been incredibly busy. I had way too many task on the To Do List for a Saturday. The Improv Competition forced me to be in one place for several hours, and just laugh. Well, and sweat my tush off, but that’s beside the point. The performances we saw were such a beautiful example of what life is, spontaneous, full of meaning, and hopefully, fun. This was exactly what I needed. It’s what we all need.

I could close with a sappy paragraph about how we need to smell the roses, but the fact of the matter is this; life doesn’t slow down. It will come at us as fast as we let it. I’m trying to grab on to more moments like this, because I want to REMEMBER. I want to have a mental image of times in my life when all I can do is look back. If I don’t slow down, all I will have is a blur.

And I’m very grateful to SBS for asking me to be there. And I’m grateful I felt I WAS there.