Today we are earning your "MAKE IT UP AS YOU GO" badge.

 Getting your pilot's license to fly by the seat of your Spanx is an invaluable mothering skill! 
I'll share some of my more pathetic yet also valiant attempts at winging it. 

I grew up in an athletic family, not a dancing family.  I know nothing about dance or the ballet recital underworld and protocol. When I arrived home from a business trip, I had to immediately go into "Dance Mom" mode for my 6 year old's ballet recital dress rehearsal that evening. 

To a "never-danced-in-my-life" Mom,  dress rehearsal = wear the dress so you know you can move in it. To a "danced-your-entire-life" Mom, it's a whole other story.

Here goes:
NO-DANCE MOM can't find a scrunchie to pull back Girl's hair, so I huddle in the corner gnawing at the elastic from my badge-holder I wore on her business trip to fashion into a hair tie. A real "Momguyver" moment.

DANCE-ALLSTAR MOM has a tackle box she slams on the table and "whump! whump! whump!" flips open 3 tiers to unveil eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss, glitter, eyeliner, glue on jewel dots, hair bows, ribbons, snottiness, and judgement.  YES, I swallowed my pride and took the damn hair tie she thrust at me with a sneer.

On recital night:
DANCE-ALLSTAR comes prepared with a dozen sacrificial congratulatory roses.
NO-DANCE realizes you are supposed to do this so I frantically call NO-DANCE DAD to grab some sort of foliage on the way but none is to be found.

"Winging It":
Flowers are not an option.  I remember Girl was madly in love with a rubber chicken at the costume store so when she returns backstage after dancing her little toes off, I tell her to look around at all of the pretty flowers the other girls are getting.  Explaining that while they are lovely, they will eventually die and (ok, maybe I didn't need to be that dramatic but MY POINT IS) I know one thing she REALLY REALLY wants and it's The Rubber Chicken and we will pick it up on our way home to congratulate her success. Girl can not be more thrilled.  

While the Celebratory Dead Chicken will never become a tradition in the ballet world,  it remains one of the most memorable happy moments of Girl's life, so it's going in the win column! 

BE HAPPY. THE ALTERNATIVE JUST ISN'T SEXY.  Happy 2013. I've always loved the number 13 because I like to stare down superstitions (unless they are positive like rain on your wedding day.)  It was my jersey number in high school volleyball and I've owned a few black cats therefore am exempt from anyone or anything telling me "bad" or "can't".   I choose to live in the "GOOD" and "CAN" zone.  A terminal optimist. 2012 had some really good highs and some challenging changes - so I'm picking out the fruits of all of it and moving ahead into 2013 with an excited sense of anticipation. 

WHO'S STARING BACK AT YOU? Girl is getting older and I'm getting more of my own time back and I feel like I'm climbing out of the mother trenches and dusting off with an "OK, where was I?" feeling... and I'm no where NEAR where I was when I dove into the trenches almost 17 years ago.    No where is this clearer than at the gym! (I think of the scene in beginning of Titanic where she finds her bejeweled mirror that hasn't changed a bit and turns it over to see her reflection has changed quite a bit!)

WHO, ME? The pledge of doing my duty for "my home" and "my family" will now include "for myself." I just completed a vision board workshop with Rosie Molinary and loved the experience. She's loaded with great tips about being gentle on yourself, gentle about when to say no, gentle about forward motion toward your highest self and finding your driving force for the year ahead and working everything toward that. 

I have a couple of mantras for the year that work for me:
1: NOW. Be in the now, do it now.
2.  Find the Funny

FUNNY FEELS GOOD. The second mantra I attribute to comedian Tammy Pescatelli.  I live this way (survival tool and you just couldn't script some of the stuff real life throws down) and I love that she summed it up. I've jumped into the world of stand up comedy recently on a dare and because I needed a new mountain to climb since I can no longer do marathons with an old lady hip.  Whatever happens on stage, I love that my sensors are on high alert for collecting life observations to laugh about. It just feels good and brings levity and is consistent with my personal motto: 

"When you feel good you do good."

So blabbity bla bla on with the show, it's going to be a great year because we are going to MAKE it that way!