Just Keep Swinging



Fierce Girls 

There are days when you need a little sign that things WILL get better more than others. I was having one of those days pretty much every day last week because ZOMG. What is going on? Why is sexism suddenly proudly sitting at the table and acting like it's perfectly welcome there?

Oh. Yeah. I KNOW WHY.

Anyway, I'd had quite enough of the subtle little things that weave their way through the days and thus was looking forward to the weekend. Where there would be lots of dance recitals. What better way to be all "girl power" than a dance recital!

Actually, that might be the worst place. Between the costumes and clichés, sexism is alive and well. And, while I generally love the studio Alexis goes to, there's this thing that makes me CRAZY. They're actively trying to encourage more boys to dance, which is good, but they seem to be doing that by giving boys prominent roles on the competitive teams. So, that team that Alexis spends hours and hours working towards? There are boys who can barely stand in tap shoes on that team. She's probably got a few more years of practice before she'll get the chance to do that which people with penises get to do just for having a penis. Like, seriously, there are boys on the team who look like they just started (because they did!) while the girls have to able to perform at a very high level to even be considered.

(Can you tell this gets me riled up? It got worse when I started thinking about how the studio also has a race/diversity problem. Maybe they should solve that by putting girls who aren't white on the competition team as well, talent or skill be damned. I'm sure that would work out juuuuust fine.)


I needed some signs. I went to two dance recitals. Alexis kicked butt, as usual, and between her performances, I found my signs.

Two of them, in fact.

The first of the signs I discovered while reading the recital program from back to back. Way at the end, there was a list of seniors who are graduating out of the studio this year. They each have a little paragraph about what they plan to do next. They listed their college and major, mostly.

Of the six graduates, three plan to major in engineering. One plans to major in biology. One plans to major in dance. The sixth one is going to beauty school.

Half engineers. Three of them. THREE! STEM is changing, kids. Slowly but surely.

The other sign came from one of Alexis' teachers. I ran into her during intermission at one of the recitals and was treated to the latest in Alexisisms. Keep in mind, Alexis is all in on reading about strong women right now. She saw Hidden Figures and it changed her outlook on a lot of things. We've spent hours talking through what about that movie (and the book, for what it matters) is fact and what is fiction. There has been a lot of research done, as well as a lot of follow-up reading about other ways women have flown under the radar for years while also changing the world.

(This one. Oof.)

Alexis gets it right now, is what I'm saying.

And that's obvious from the story her teacher told me. The teacher needed help moving a table, so she said to the class, "I need a strong boy to help move this table."

Alexis replied, "What, is this 1952? I will help." She then went on to explain why the teacher's question was offensive and THAT'S MY GIRL! I adore that she has the confidence to speak up when smells a rat.

It reminded me of the time she thoroughly lectured someone for using "scream like a girl" as an insult.

And the time she told off some people for saying that a woman should never be President.

So, the little things may be happening all over the place, but somehow this next generation is going to make it better. They simply won't tolerate the stupid.



Girl on the Run (Away from the Cheese)

There's a really effective way to distract yourself from realizing your baby is about to turn three years old, which is totally not baby territory, and that's to think about the fact that your other baby is on the verge of being a middle schooler.

It's true.

If you've been around here since the beginning, you've been around over a decade. The baby that started it all is just about to become a mother truckin' MIDDLE SCHOOLER.

As crazy as that is, middle schoolers do cool things. Crazy things, too. For example, Alexis on purpose ran a 5k this weekend, even though there were no bears chasing her. Weird, I know. But also cool.

So a while back, Alexis talked me into letting her participate in Girls on the Run. For those who are in happier place called "oblivious to this phenomenon," it's a program for girls where they train for and then run a 5k. It's all very obvious from the name, of course, but the part that isn't mentioned is the heavy dose of "let's build our self-esteem with cheesy activities!"

Alexis wasn't expecting the cheesy.

Alexis was not a fan of the cheesy. AT ALL.

Each and every practice session left her annoyed at the warm fuzzy stuff. As she said, "It's right there in the name - run. Girls on the Run. I WANT TO RUN NOT SIT AROUND AND TALK ABOUT MY FEELINGS."

I was so proud every time she complained. Normally I am anti-complainer, but I so get it. Sitting around and talking about feelings is the worst. I would have been annoyed too. The only thing I don't get is to WANT to go run instead. Given the choice between running and sitting around talking about feelings, I think my head would explode. That's exactly what hell is going to be like for me. Just endlessly trying to make that choice.

Anyway, Alexis has a fantastic story about how she ended up with her running partner. You should ask her if you see her. She also has a solid story about finishing in just over 34 minutes, which is pretty fantastic since she had to stop and wait for her running partner a bunch of times.

Just don't ask her how she feels about it all. If you do, her eyes might roll so hard they'll knock you unconscious.


A post shared by Burgh Baby (@burghbaby) on May 21, 2017 at 6:44am PDT