Random Roundup

What is a random round-up?  Exactly what it sounds like – – I have no cohesive point today (some may argue that has been the case from the get-go); instead – I will share some fun bits and pieces that have happened at the Mad and Merry Marino Manor since I last posted:

My 10-year-old’s odd diversion:

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about my DeanO.  He loves hanging out with friends, playing basketball, soccer, football – -whatever.  But – he also is a bit of a quiet genius (or as he calls himself, “Dean-ius” – get it?).  Whenever he is not outside playing, he can be found WRITING.  Writing poetry; writing short stories; writing (and illustrating) comic books; writing music.  He is the writer I have always WANTED to be – – the amazing creations that come from his little head are incredibly poignant, eloquent and inventive.  I love sneaking peeks at his works in progress when he casually drops them at all possible locations across the house and minivan.  Oh yeah – – he is even writing while in the minivan, on the way to/from school.  It’s quite impressive.

His latest “piece” took me a bit by surprise however.  I’m not sure why – truly NOTHING should ever shock me anymore.  But there he was, in our mudroom, just frantically scribbling away.  Tongue out and licking lips – so I knew he was in deep concentration mode.  I asked him what he was working on – – his reply:  “I’m making a list of pick-up lines.”  I swear to you – this is what he said.  And sure enough, he began to read a few to me:

“I want to rearrange the alphabet – – because then YOU and I can be together.”

“I need a fire extinguisher – – because you set my soul on fire.”

“I need an oxygen tank – because you take my breath away.”

I don’t want to give his best lines away, but that’s likely an ample sampling for you.  Fellow mamas, I apologize in advance if he uses a line, plus his undeniable charm, on your daughter(s).  I promise – he’s a delightful little catch!

A Weekend of Performances:

Friends – – I spent years and years, and lots of $$$, energy and time devoted to the trying out of many, many activities.  Soccer – or as we call it, “LOOK! A pretty flower!”; Tae Kwon Do – which we call, “If I can’t practice on my brother/sister, I’m not doing it.”; gymnastics – aka “we like it because we get skittles at the end.”; dancing – or “we’re only doing this because mom made us.”; art class – “the same thing we do for free at home”; baseball – “the ball hit my hand and I have now declared my retirement.”; swim team – where we were known as the family whose kid throws up before class; etc.

It’s a very long list – – and you may read it and think I’m a Tiger Mom.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I truly just wanted the kids to figure out their passions, and I thought the way to do that was to try many, many things.  I had all but given up on extracurricular activities of any kind when I offered up drama to Izzi.  She decided to give it a try, and it was the greatest thing we could’ve done.  She finally found one of her passions (her others being all things NFL, and art)!  She has since been in quite a few shows; she LOVES being on stage and her theatrical experiences are truly allowing her to grow as a public speaker, as a singer, as a dancer, and as an all-around empathetic person (as acting requires you to step into someone else’s shoes, if only for a little while).

Of course, my other kids couldn’t stand being left out of all that fun so Sofie and Dean both decided to explore drama as well, with Izzi’s permission of course.  Dean loved being in ELF with Izzi and lots of other talented kids this past December and last month it was Sofie’s turn.  She auditioned for and landed a role in Shrek.  This past weekend was the show – and it was fantastic, as expected.  

But 2 weeks prior to showtime, we learned that Sofie’s National History Day project – a performance based on Mother Teresa – had qualified for the regional NHD competition, which was to be held on the same day as Shrek.  Yikes.  UnTiger Mom that I am, I tried to convince Sofie that she didn’t need to compete in regionals for NHD – – she could just stick to Shrek; accept her lovely grade on her NHD project and politely decline to register for the next level of competition.  Sofie was befuddled; “why would I NOT compete?”  My answer – – because I’m the best, most supportive mom EVAH, “Honey, you’re not going to advance to State level, so why make the weekend more stressful for yourself?  You already committed to Shrek – stick to that.”  Sofie wouldn’t hear of it.

Luckily we were able to work out the timing.  And she went and did her Mother Teresa project before coming home and getting herself ready for LONG day of two Shrek performances.  We couldn’t stay for the awards ceremony at the NHD regionals.  While on our way to the theater for Shrek, the texts started pouring in:

“Sofie won 2nd place!!”

“Sofie’s going to State!!”

Honestly, I’m still in a state of disbelief.  I’m so very proud of her.  And I’m obviously feeling incredibly guilty that I tried to convince my own child not to bother trying.  I vowed silently never to do that again.  Until I realized that the State competition would be held in Austin, the very same day that Izzi will (hopefully) be in a play and Dean will (hopefully) be performing elsewhere.  [insert silent scream here]

Stay tuned for more Madness and Merriment!  Thanks so much for reading, and sharing, and following! 

Dean – after using a pick up line on a donut.







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