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kimmerkc
18 February 2011 @ 07:37 pm
For our latest roadtrip, we decided not to bother with headphones for the DVD players. Instead, Joel picked out several movies that we wouldn't mind listening to, and let the boys agree on one to watch in the back seat with the regular speakers.

They chose The Princess Bride.

Anyone from my generation knows that it's impossible to just listen to this movie and not quote along. Joel and I both know this movie by heart. We simply can not resist. So, the show gets to the boat scene and the following conversation takes place in our front seat.

Kim: Fezzic, are there rocks ahead?

Joel: If there are, we'll all be dead!

Kim: No more rhymes now, I mean it!

Joel: Anybody want a peanut?

RoJo: AAAARGH!

I almost choked, his timing was so perfect.

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kimmerkc
08 January 2011 @ 06:46 pm
I am possibly more sensitive than many people to the subtlely sexist messages presented to our children. As a working Mom (in the male-dominated IT industry) with a "stay at home" spouse, I am infuriated by mid-day "Mom and tot" programs paired with evening "Daddy and me" events and school administrators who insist on referring to classroom volunteers as "Room Moms" and telling kids to get an important paper "signed by your Mom."

When society attempts to tackle these traditional role stereotypes for kids, this often takes the form of encouraging girls that they can do anything a boy can do, but we so often forget about the other side of the coin.

XV came home a few days ago frustrated and saying he'd had "a very bad day." He had come home with a great behavior report, very little homework and otherwise positive comments about class, so I knew he wasn't frustrated about school work. Turns out he was upset about recess. He had spent "the whole day" waiting for a turn at the jumpropes, only to be rebuffed by the girls turning the ropes, because "jump rope is only for girls!" I didn't realize "mean girls" started all the way back in first grade.

Later that same evening, AZ was dancing around the living room, doing an excellent job of matching his movements to the funky music that was playing. He definitely picked up some of those moves in Dance club earlier in the school year, but these were so perfect for the song, that I asked him if he'd somehow seen a music video for the song. (He hadn't) This, combined with the fact that he'd told me one of his New Year's Resolutions was to find more ways to be active, made me think about dance lessons. So I asked him if he might like to find a place to take dance lessons this year. He said he'd like that, and as we discussed it he said "Wouldn't it be funny if I went to a ballet class?"

"What would be funny about that?"

"Well, it would be goofy! I'm a boy!"

That broke my heart... that there would be anything my boys would think they could not do, just because they are boys. And the realization that if my nine year old boy who loves to act and dance and show off were to take some real classical dance training (as opposed to only hip-hop type stuff) he will probably get teased and even bullied for it makes me angry.

I told him about Billy Elliot (Barishnakov didn't mean anything to him and my description of a Swan Lake lift made him think of cheerleading). I have seen neither the movie nor the musical, but being a Broadway music geek, I'm very familiar with the plot line and musical numbers. I want to take both boys to see it and show them that they can do anything they want to, even if some people think it's a girl thing. And I want them to see the strength, dedication, and athleticism that go into producing something beautiful with your own body, creativity and enthusiasm.

I want the world to be fair for them, though I know it will not.

And I really want to see the show myself, of course. Can anyone out there hook me up with tickets?

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kimmerkc
21 March 2010 @ 11:43 pm

Road Trip - Traffic Stop
Originally uploaded by KimmerKC
Kentucky Road Trip - Spring Break 2010
Day 1, March 21, 2010 12:20pm
I65, Indiana Mile 226.5

On our way to Kentucky to visit the Kohlers. We're thinking of stopping for lunch in about 15 minutes or so, when traffic slows to a crawl, then stops completely. A fire truck and a couple ambulances go past on the shoulder. We can see a big black smoke cloud ahead, but that's it. After 10 minutes or so of not moving, Joel lets Quesa out to run on the side of the road. He's not the only one. People start rolling down windows, asking questions, but no one really knows what's going on. Three cars behind us is a van, towing a trailer. A guy gets out with his guitar, climbs on the roof and starts to play.

We all pile out of the car. Rowan's still sleeping, so I opt to hang out at the side of the car where I can see him. Cars and trucks going buy at normal highway speeds on the other side of the highway start honking and waving. We all applaud and cheer.

The guy on the roof hops down and helps his buddies unload their drums from the trailer, and they put on a little show right there on the roadside. The band is called "We the Living", but before we get a chance to learn anything more, the traffic ahead starts moving, so we reluctantly pile into the car again while the band scrambles to pack up.

About a mile and a half later, we pass the accident. A semi trailer with burn marks coming out the back, and the melted down, blackened remains of the tractor. Grass on the roadside is scorched black for another 100 yards. The whole incident took about an hour. Rowan slept through the whole adventure.