Have you ever watched your children play when they don’t realize you’re watching?

They are so full of spirit and joy. They are unburdened with the pressures of everyday life and their hope knows no bounds. Their imaginations take them to places we can only wish to visit and fear is not an option.

Last night, as I got the girls ready for bed, I’d gone downstairs to warm some milk for Baby girl. I came back upstairs without her knowledge and there she was in her room dancing her little heart out, singing a quiet tune to herself. She was so into it, she didn’t even notice me. Out came her air guitar or the ‘rock-tar’ as she would call it, and she wailed away on that thing.

I just thought to myself, Wow…when was the last time I danced like no one was watching?

As we get older, we become so self-conscious. We forget how to let go of our inhibitions and just have fun for a few moments and even when we do succeed in letting go, we tend to feel foolish or embarrassed. Why?

I love dancing with my girls. Diva girl is the hip-hop, break-dancing dynamo and Baby girl is the tutu-wearing, forever–twirling, ballerina/princess. They have so much fun. They just laugh and enjoy the silliness of the moment and it’s almost always me that ends the merriment when I have to get back to doing the things we do as parents and adults, like cleaning, cooking, or whatever.  But those moments when I am able to truly let go with my kids and have fun and more importantly watch them having fun are some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful times in my world.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to make A LOT more time to dance with my daughters. Just be silly, happy and crazy and…



Caribana (aka Carnival) Days

Caribana (aka Carnival) Days

caribana parade 2009
caribana parade 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It’s the Civic long weekend here and another year of Caribana or Carnival is winding down. If you’ve never been, it’s a fun experience with lots of music, food and dancing…A LOT OF DANCING! The parties are non-stop and people from different countries travel here just to get a taste of all that this cultural explosion has to offer.

Almost anyone of Caribbean or African descent that has grown up in Canada (especially Ontario) can tell you about their experience as a teenager and young adult and the excitement behind Caribana. The name has changed but the concept is the same, and Carnival is still a very exciting time in the GTA.

It happens on the first weekend in August and meant that you were probably prepping since mid-July. What outfits were you going to wear? There were parties usually starting Thursday night straight through until Monday and there was no way you could be caught wearing the same outfit on 2 nights….seriously? Then there was the question of what to wear on Saturday which is the day of the parade. For us girls, it had to be cute, it had to be short and it had to be tight! Guys would have nice sneakers on that would most definitely be ruined by the end of the day. Girls were getting their hair and nails done and the guys were getting their hair cut.

Then we made our way impatiently downtown to join in the festivities. Before the parade starts costumes are judged and King and Queen of the Carnival are chosen. The bands spend up to a year planning and creating all of the beautiful costumes and floats that will take part in the celebrations.

Before the route of the parade was changed, the public was allowed to join the parade and we would ‘jump up’ and dance with all the participants in their very skimpy but colorful costumes and run, walk and dance beside the floats where the liveliest music would be playing. Calypso, Soca and Reggae would keep you moving for hours.

It seemed to us girls that all the cutest guys from the U.S. were there on that one weekend and all they had to do was say hi with an American accent and we were on cloud nine. It never occurred to you at the time that they were collecting phone numbers like Canada Post collected the mail. Canadian guys caught on, and those of them that could, would try to put on their best ‘Yankee’ accent in order to get some ‘attention’.

There were food vendors cooking their best rendition of authentic West Indian food and the lines were always ridiculous.

When the weather was good, you would always see revelers with towels in their pockets or around their necks because with all that dancing, you were bound to lose five pounds in perspiration.

It’s a great experience for young and old. But when you’re young it seems like one of the best times of your life.

I’m sure my girls will want to experience this wonderful cultural festival with the music, dancing and partying with boys.


Yeah….now that I think about it, the whole thing is totally overrated.

P.S. have you seen the kind of dancing that goes on at those things?

I’m just sayin….



Well, the past 2 days have been pretty quiet on the school bus. No one is hitting my child and she is getting to school without mishap. I know this because of another drive by….don’t judge me okay? I’ll have you know that my mother (aka Nana) did her own drive by. She made me drive her there!


So, I’ve been seriously wondering if I should put Diva girl in some kind of martial arts class. I’ve always wanted any daughter of mine to take dance classes and wear a tutu and Diva girl loves to dance, but now I think maybe the frills need to be accessorized with a black belt. This way she can karate chop and plié the heck out of any bullies that dare to mess with her. Do you think there’s a hip-hop karate class, or a jujitsu jazz class or even a ballet taekwondo class?

What….too much?