Tag Archives: parenting

Silly Kid Quotes, Week 3: Riley

“The soul is healed by being with children.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This week’s silly kid quote comes from our Riley.

Ah, Riley. He with the quiet, gentle soul, much like his father’s. And yet, also like his father, once in a while he’ll bust out with something hilarious.

Case in point:



“Actors do tend to get pigeonholed.  People want to know who you are so they can put you in a box.  It’s lovely to be known for such diametrically opposite roles.”
Tom Hiddleston

I was just sitting here reflecting over last weekend at Oz (read that blog here if you missed it) and something dawned on me.

This has been a year of some awesome roles for me.  (And quite diverse ones, at that!)

I’ve been an actor for a long time, and it just occurred to me that most of my very favorite roles and on-stage moments have happened in 2013. This has been quite a year!

Here are a few examples:

Started the year off as Elvis.  Yep, you read that right.  Elvis.

Ok, so I was a country hick trailer park chick dressed up as Elvis for the “Elvis and Jesus: A Tribute to the Kings” nativity scene.  In July.  In Florida.  (Did ya get all that?)  Oh yeah, you have to check this play out if you’ve never heard of it.  Radio T.B.S.  It’s a hoot.  And, incidentally, this was the first time I’ve ever received an ovation mid-show.  My Heartbreak Hotel was apparently awesome.  Or….hilariously bad.  Eh, either way, they clapped.  Booyah.


“Mother” in the show Life With Father.

Pretty awesome role.  Even got to do a TV interview for it.  (Read that blog here if you’re interested.)  Yep, very cool stuff.

Then, I got to play a flooz.

You just can’t beat that.  (Gloria Rasputin in Bye, Bye, Birdie.)  Even had to tap dance and do a split.  Well.  Sort of…

And then last weekend, as my regular readers know, I got to be both the Wicked Witch and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, at the Autumn at Oz festival in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.

Yep.  As you can see, this has been a year that I have stepped “out of the box” somewhat.  I have been blessed with these varied roles and have enjoyed every minute of becoming someone completely different each and every time I’ve donned a new costume.   And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve actually enjoyed watching myself blossom as an actress as I’ve stepped into these roles.  I wasn’t so sure I had it in me, but apparently I do.  I’ve been kinda proud of myself.  How about that?

Pretty cool stuff.

But you know what’s even cooler?  Knowing that at the end of the day, after the costumes are neatly put away and silence drowns out the applause, I get to step into a few even better roles.

This one, for example:

“Of all the roles I’ve played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.” 
– Annette Funicello

I get to be these awesome teenagers’ mom.  How freakin’ cool is that?  Just like all of the other roles I’ve been blessed with, this is another one that I wasn’t sure I would know how to play.  And sometimes I still falter, sometimes I don’t always follow the script or get my lines right, but all-in-all I think I’ve managed to do a pretty darn good job.  I sure have some awesome little co-stars, that’s for sure.

All it takes is to turn on the radio or the TV and within minutes you are hearing some new horror story about the awful things teenagers are into these days.  Each time this happens, I say a silent little prayer and thank my lucky stars that I have the kids I have.  Now, I’m not saying they’re perfect – far from it – but the problems that we have are just normal, everyday problems.  Nothing drastic and severe like some poor parents have to go through.  I hope my kids know how proud I am of who they are, and who they are becoming.  And I hope the role I’ve played in their lives has had a little something to do with that.  I like to think it does.

Another role I’m pretty blessed with?

Being the one this guy loves.

“If you age with somebody, you go through so many roles – you’re lovers, friends, enemies, colleagues, strangers; you’re brother and sister. That’s what intimacy is, if you’re with your soul mate.” 
– Cate Blanchett

My gosh, I sure do love this dude.  We have been through many phases in our relationship – and I think that’s why the above quote speaks to me so much.  We’ve been all of those to each other at some point, and we just keep going strong.

When it comes to love, I’ve tried out quite a few roles.  I tried being the submissive wife.  I’ve tried being the girlfriend who gives up everything she really loves to try to keep the peace.  I’ve tried sacrificing who I am to make someone else happy.  None of these roles seemed to fit.

And now I know why.

“I’ve had disappointments and heartbreaks and setbacks and roles I didn’t get, but something always came along that either made me better or was an even better role.” 
– Lee Majors

Finally, I get to play the best role I’ve ever played.


It has taken me a long, long time to finally get to enjoy this role.  Took some trial and error, I admit.  But finally, finally, I think I’ve figured out this role pretty well.  And it sure is nice to be allowed to play it.

I think I’m right where I belong.

This is the role I’ve been waiting for.

Are you playing the role you’re meant to play?  Make sure you are.  Life is just too short for anything else.  Trust me.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fix Your Face


She was not one for emptying her face of expression. ”
– J. D. Salinger

I have a pretty bad habit.

My face shows everything I’m feeling.  Everything.

And you know what else it does?  It shows everything everyone else is feeling too.

My daughter Kelly has often made fun of me for this.  We’ll be watching a movie and I’ll catch her looking at me instead of the screen.  When I turn to see what she’s looking at, she breaks out in hysterical giggles and says, “You’re doing it again.”  Apparently, whatever the person I’m watching is feeling, I display it on my face.  They’re laughing?  I’m smiling.  They’re crying?  My face is all scrunched up.  They’re singing?  (Oh, Kelly loooooves this one….) My forehead is creased and I’m straining to reach the high notes just like they are.

Well, that last example happened at church Sunday.  The choir was singing one of the most beautiful songs ever, and I was feeling it to the core of my being.  My face was singing right along with them, when I feel a little elbow go into my side and I hear,

“Mom.  Fix  your face.”

Fix my face??  What the…. [wait, I’m in church]…crap is she talking about…?

Oh.  Oh yeah.  That again.  Grrrr.

Ever since she said that, I’ve been thinking a lot about it.  While, no, I don’t want to look like an idiot, and yes, maybe I do need to work on ‘fixing my face’ sometimes to avoid just that – the deeper meaning behind why I do that maybe isn’t such a bad thing at all.

See this quote?

“All that is in the heart is written on the face.”
Ritu Ghatourey

Well, I believe that.  And I think that the fact that my face reflects what others are feeling is a pretty good sign.  I think that shows that I’m empathetic.  That I don’t just look around at my fellow members of humanity, I actually take the time to really see them.  I feel them.  I put myself right in their place and go right along with them on their journey, even if it’s just for a few seconds.

That’s kinda cool, right?

Even if I do look like a complete idiot in the process.

There are a lot of things that we teach our kids when we don’t even realize we’re doing it.  I’m sure I have some habits that I’d like for Kelly to overlook (which I’m sure are the ones that she’ll remember best, unfortunately), but this in particular is one of them that I’m not too sorry to pass along to her.  Feel for each other.  You know?  Feel your fellow man’s pain, his happiness, his struggle, his triumph.  Anything that happens to another member of humanity, is also happening to you.  We’re all in this thing together.  Recognize that.

Wouldn’t this world be a much better place if we all did that?  All the time?

Well, it would also be a much funnier place if everyone showed that on their face all the time like I do.  Kelly sure would get a kick out of it.  So, maybe you could just be that way and try to hide it a little better than I do.  That might be a better idea.

So, note to self:  Yes, listen to your daughter.  Fix your face.  But your heart?  Yeah, that heart is probably right where it needs to be.

No worries.


When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.
– Susan Sarandon

Ounce of Strength

I got the sweetest text from my mom yesterday.  It was in response to the latest batch of blogs I had mailed to her.  If you missed it, in one of my previous entries I mentioned that my mom doesn’t have a computer, so I print out and mail all of my blog entries to her.  She’s my biggest fan. (Maybe my only fan??  “A blog only a mother could love?…” But I digress…)

So, this is what her text said: “You are one strong woman! I wish I only had a portion of your strength.”

I read that, and then went back and re-read it again.  First, because my mom is just awesome.  Who doesn’t need to hear stuff like that?  I’m so lucky to have her support.  But secondly, I re-read it because it sounded so familiar to me.  And I couldn’t quite place why.

Then, it dawned on me.

When my daughter was only 2 years old (she’s 13 now), I could already see the fiery strength of her personality.  I remember watching her one day and just being able to visualize with such clarity what a strong woman she was going to become one day.  I saw in her the person I wish I could be – strong, determined, feisty.  And when I saw those things in her, I wrote this poem:


Ounce of Strength
Look at you.
I’m amazed at your abilities,
At your determination,
At your strong will.
Nothing can stop you!
I watch you in awe.
You adapt to change so quickly.
You remain steady
Even when the world around you changes.
You amaze me.
You inspire me.
You are my constant.
What I wouldn’t give to have just a little of your ability –
Just one iota of your determination –
Just one ounce of your strength.
Thank you.


Turns out I was right.  She’s still a little superwoman.  Full of an unending energy, wit, and strength that astounds me at times.  Nothing gets to that girl.  She is who she is and that’s just all there is to it.  Stubborn, dedicated, determined little Kelly.

And after getting that text from my mom, it finally hit me.  All of that is also how my mom sees me.

Wow.  I’m not sure if I ever realized that before.  That’s pretty awesome.

And you know what?  I’m willing to bet that her mom sees her exactly the same way.  Which makes me realize something else.  Maybe, just maybe, I just might have had a little something to do with Kelly’s personality.  And you know what else?  My mom had a little something to do with mine.  And her mom had a little something to do with hers.  And so on, and so on.

Hmmm.  Well, how about that!?

We need to remember that more often.  Really let this thought sink in:

Who we are will manifest in our kids. 

And you know what?   If we’re careful – those manifestations may just end up being some really great things.


And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.
Ambrose Philips