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Tiny Dancer
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The Solution For Not So Sweet Feet
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Goodbye Friend
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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids

Tiny Dancer

My daughter is a dancer. She mixes up the steps and goes in the wrong direction at least half the time, but she doesn’t care. She gets distracted and stops mid-step to wave to me or to watch herself in the mirror. She trips and falls often, but she always gets back up, smiling. She loves to dance. And lucky for us, she can.  We had been at another dance studio, but out of the blue the owners decided that a class for students with special needs was too time consuming, too much work, just too much effort. So our tiny dancers were displaced and disillusioned.  But we’ve fallen back in step and been welcomed with open arms at our new studio.  Avery’s dance teacher is warmth and encouragement and inspiration. Miss Stephanie treats her special students the way treats all of her dancers. She pushes just enough and cheers them on. She’s choreographed the most wonderful dance for the girls to perform at the spring showcase—on the big stage in pink sparkly costumes, with grown up hair and fancy make-up. They’ll be dancing to Superstar by Love Inc—a perfect anthem for our superstar girls.  And the young dancers who volunteer[…]

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The Solution For Not So Sweet Feet

My son’s sweet baby feet smelled of freshly baked bread and sunshine and blades of sweet spring grass. Then he turned twelve and the distinct baby feet smell soured into a distinct…stink. In case you think I’m being awful for discussing my boy’s smelly feet, I assure you I asked his permission before sharing. He thinks watching his mother squirm and gag at his post basketball game shoe parfume is funny. It is not, for I am highly sensitive to smells. Seriously, I can sniff out a moist sweat sock hidden under a pile of laundry from a mile away. I’m the Sherlock Holmes of smelling. As vile as my son’s shoes can get, he has nothing on his dad’s size 12 odour generators. My husband is very active. He teaches Phys Ed and not from the sidelines—he gets out there with the kids and works up a sweat. And when some of that sweat pools in his shoes, the aroma can reach a nine—ranked on a rank scale of one (baby feet) to ten (a family of dead rats decaying under the porch in the heat of summer). And what of my shoes? Obviously they smell like daisies 24/7. My husband thought he[…]

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Goodbye Friend

Friends come and go. It always hurts to some degree—even when the culling was for the best. It’s funny how the memory of these relationships can just randomly pop into you head. Just this morning I thought of an old friend. I’m not sure why. I’ve known her since we were kids. I probably know her better than any of the friends she has now in her adult life. She wasn’t an easy person to get to know as she grew up. She put up walls and over-compensated for the perceived short-comings that chipped away at her self-esteem over the years. The kind, creative, brilliant friend I knew as a child became a narcissistic one-upper, obsessed with success and all the material things. But she was never like that with me. I saw the real her, hidden underneath the layers of hurt and self-doubt. I understood her history. After all, I was beside her when it was being made. We had sleep-overs and did handstands on her front lawn. We made mixed tapes from the radio and stayed up late to watch Saturday Night Live and scary movies. We were friends. Now we’re not. Somewhere along the way she put up[…]

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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids

  My eldest child has been making short films since he was old enough to use an iPad. One of his earliest was an iMovie project called, “A Video For A Special Sister.” He showed it class by class at his school in an effort to teach his peers what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The technique was amateur, but his message was mature beyond his years. Is it possible to be a doting stage mother if my child is behind the camera? Anyway, like some sort of cosmic cinematic kismet, a fitting showcase is coming to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival this year! My son and I are going to view the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase—short films created for young people by young people.   This year’s theme challenges young filmmakers (grades 4-6) to create an onscreen representation of a disability. It will be interesting for my mini Spielberg to watch how his peers approach filmmaking, editing, and story telling. I wish he had known about this earlier and could’ve entered. He’d have won for sure! That was my dramatic stage mother voice again, wasn’t it? Speaking of disabilities (seamless segue, I know)[…]

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