Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

On Happily Doing Their Own Fancy Dances

“All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watchin' the puddles gather rain…”

—Blind Melon, No Rain

We went out into the rain three times over three hours. Each time wearing our rain jackets and our rain boots, Bryce and me with socks on and Bea without. They bounded up and down our one-way street flooded gutter while I watched and called out when cars approached. They jumped and splashed and smiled and laughed. I jumped and splashed and smiled and laughed.

All of us stir crazy, yes, and the fact that our girls just love playing outside in the rain, the first big rain of our ever warmer and drier California dreamin'-scape. The Mama was away doing a Kidpower workshop, so with Daddy daycare in full swing, and the living room floor already littered with nearly every toy in the house, playing outside on a rainy day was the only way to go. We also made milk carton boats to sail down the gutter and that was a big hit (and something fun I remember doing when I was their age).

And as I watched my girls bound and splash and float their boats, I smiled big over and over, because so far so good with them "dancing as if no one is watching." Plus, not caring even if someone was. Each girl differentiating further from one another every single day with the one common thematic thread of being who they are, of being comfortable in their own still pliable skin. As we all know, that is always a work in progress, and yet, they're already light years ahead of my struggles at the same age.

Proudly the Mama has also launched a Girl Scout troop recently, for both Daisies and Brownies based on the ages of our girls and their school friends. For those who don't know, the Girl Scout mission is all about building courage, confidence and character and to help make the world a better place (fun facts: the majority of the women in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts, and every female American astronaut to date has been a Girl Scout -- I did not know).

All these things weren't lost on me recently when work traveling, first going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and then a quick trip to Las Vegas -- all full of people, women and men alike, making their own way while flying their own freak flags. Of course I'm not condoning the debauchery, just the spirit of individuality, entrepreneurial rebellion and celebrating inclusivity and teamwork (like my favorite band -- can you guess who that is?).

There's always an edge to finding your own way and becoming yourself, then being your best self and sustaining it. That's the edge we hope we're helping our girls with. I thought about that as I sat eating dinner overlooking the Vegas strip, watching the buzzing throngs of crazy fly by. As I ate and watched, some of my favorite rock songs played overhead and Blind Melon's "No Rain" came on, a big hit from 1992/93.

Not hearing that song for some time prompted me to later watch the music video online, because I vaguely remembered it tell a story of a "bee girl" doing her own dance and being made fun of. She wanders aimlessly alone until she finds a beautiful grassy knoll under blue sky where many other bee people are happily doing their own fancy dances -- and happily joins in their fun.

As I watched it I thought, Bring on the rain, baby. Bring on the rain. #BhivePower indeed.

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