Motherhood and Biznesshood – a fandangled mash!

Balancing life as a mom and running a business may not be a new fandangled way of life anymore, which is why I want to address it.  I go back to the roots of why I began this business.  I love acting and I love my kids.  I was brought up in a world where having a career was something that the women who went before me, in my family, my mother’s friends, and certainly my schooling had fought for very hard.  The right to have control over one’s career and choice of marriage not because of need for financial security, but because we actively chose it was a choice offered to my generation.

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Aged eighteen, one of my best friends from high school, proudly announced that after graduating from college with honors she was planning on finding a husband, getting married and having four children.  We all scoffed and derided her – believing that she was not taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered to her by living in this generation.  Is she now happy or not?… I don’t know – perhaps she (or a version of her) will read this post and respond.  Nonetheless, in retrospect, I admire her for her bravery in that moment for going against the tide.

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Working mom or stay-at-home mom, or all of those of us in between… there is guilt that we are not giving our best to either our kids or our jobs.  I can’t say that I was particularly aware of this when I began “The Land Of Imagination”.  I just really needed to continue something that belonged to me as my world became more and more enmeshed in that of a mother and wife.  So many of us moms feel a loss of self when you finally realize that you are really only thought of in the world as Dash’s mom from basketball, Tallulah’s mom – the science helper, or if I’m very lucky Olivia’s very creative mom.  Then there are the times that I have to work and I’m missing out on Olivia’s choir concert – was the work really worth it?

I don’t have all the answers, or actually any of them – except that I feel really good when I perform and write shows.  When I put a smile on a kid’s face as they race to “The Land of Imagination”, it warms my heart and makes my day.

I have decided to take the next step forward in this bizness… and start to stream some of my shows… yes on the internet…no not yet.  We had the first big shoot a few weekends ago.  The kids around my block stepped up to play “Little Bunny Foo Foo”.  My son and his best friend offered to shoot it with a couple of borrowed video cameras.  Olivia and Tallulah offered to star as Little Bunny Foo Foo.  It was a great experience, but waaaaay to shaky to show y’all.  Perhaps a few videos down the line, I will start to actually stream them.  I just thought I would invite you along on this new part of my rollercoaster ride of balancing motherhood with businesshood.

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The Courage of Your Convictions

I love doing these “Ms. Bits N’ Bobs” shows, the “Lazy Lizzie” shows, the “India Jane Adventurer Supreme” shows.  They are fleeting images of my imagination that I have somehow managed to bring to life.   When I do the shows and the faces of the children light up as they turn a blank space on the wall into a giant, rainbow colored butterfly who can say Hi! or the scary, fiery-red dragon on the other wall shoots their favorite ice-cream into their imaginary cones – then I know that what I am doing is truly worthwhile.

Unfortunately, a day passes and I’m dealing with homework from three different grades, trying to get a smidgen of healthy food into my kids, making sure they are not watching too much television, and my confidence, spending time in the imaginary versus the real world, quietly goes into the dungeon.  I figure, surely there are more worthwhile things to do with my life, than tell stories from the Land of Imagination.

I say this not for a pity party, ‘cos as you can see I am valiantly going forth in my adventure of bringing “The Land of Imagination” to our local theatre community.  It comes from a conversation that I had with my youngest daughter, Tallulah recently.  Part of her homework was to fill in a chart that talked about her experiences in 1st grade.  What were her happiest moments, draw a picture of herself, what advice would she give to any incoming 1st graders etc…  One of the questions was what was your saddest moment in 1st grade.  I thought Tallulah was going to respond with a disagreement with one of her friends, a sharing of a toy issue… instead her reaction was so extreme that I became seriously concerned about it.  First of all, the “saddest thing” was so sad, that she couldn’t even tell me.  She could only write it down.  It happened on the 100th day of school, January.  It had to do with a teacher, not her teacher, but another teacher.  Well, you can imagine where my imagination went with that one.  After a two hour build up, it turned out that one of the 1st grade teachers at the school had used a harsh tone with Tallulah when she didn’t know where the pencils were kept in the classroom.

“Did she yell at you, Tallulah?”

“Nope, she just used her really mean voice.  I thought she had been such a nice teacher up until then.  Why does she hate me so much?”

Now from my lofty post as an adult, I could totally imagine the situation.  The teacher probably didn’t think twice of the moment.  On another child, the comment might have been water off a ducks back.  The extremity of the innocent reaction has a touch of sweet humor to it.  But my little Tallulah had been heartbroken by it, which of course broke my heart.  What to do?  I went and discussed the situation with Tallulah’s teacher, a remarkable woman, who I will refer to in name as one with a gulf as deep as the Grand Canyon in thoughtfulness, candor and love.  We agreed that the courage that Tallulah had shown was that despite the embarrassment, the pain and the heartbreak she had finally come forward to share her worst day of first grade with her mommy.

Now how does this relate back to Nicole and her fears that “The Land of Imagination”  is not a worthwhile addition to the world at large – I think that you have to have the courage of your convictions to put it out there.  If an imagination can be encouraged to trust itself, then perhaps one can imagine being brave and slaying the dragon of your fears.  Each day you have the courage to put forth your best foot into the world, your imaginary bravery gets translated into real courage.  Your creative ideas get a foothold in real ideas and you have created your own courageous destiny.

As for my part… I will always keep a fresh pencil on hand for you and your ideas in The Land of Imagination.

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Show – Take #2

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I got such positive feedback from the first two shows, that we are going to do two more.  Much Thanks to  Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga for letting me turn their studio into a black box theatre.  In this space, the kids get to come up on into the stage space and help act out the show.
Do your kids enjoy acting?
Do your kids enjoy adventure?
Do your kids enjoy fairytales?
Where do the stories go when they get lost?
Help us solve the mystery!

Bring your cameras!  Bring your imaginations!

Watch your children dress up, act, sing and dance whilst they go on a grand adventure with Ms. Bits N’ Bobs to the Land of Imagination

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday May 14th & Saturday May 28th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

SOLD OUT!

SOLD OUT!  I’m just going to keep writing those words, in case it never happens again.  Those are heart warming words to all actors, directors and producers.  I am in the fortunate, deeply angst ridden group of being all three albeit to a 30 seat house.

Oh, I felt such joy as that empty reservations list starting filling up, person by person, phone call by phone call.  I really did attempt to be all professional as I took each person’s reservation, but I loved ’em, each single person who was brave enough to be a pioneer into The Land of Imagination with me.  There were my friends, who brought their kids and their friends’ kids.  There was the grandma, who told me that someone put a flyer through her door with a note on it, saying “Go see this show!”  Then there were some mom’s who were the bravest of the brave.  They did not know who Ms. Bits N’ Bobs was, but they were willing to take a chance on some culture for their kids.

Naturally, as soon as the nagging fear had passed as to whether I would have an audience for this second show, it was followed by the horrible butterflies in my tummy as to whether I would do a decent job performing the show.  Whilst the show had been performed multiple times before, I had added some ideas, that could only be fully realized in a theater space.  There was a giant mirror and instead of just waltzing in as Ms. Bits N’ Bobs in full character, I spent some time as Nicole in the audience, spending time with the kids and their parents.  Then just as though I were playing dress up, I got up and played in front of the mirror, as I transformed into the Ms. Bits N’ Bobs persona.  They laughed, they played, it worked.

The children were electric with energy and filled with ideas on what they saw in the Land of Imagination.  The kids saw rainbows and butterflies, dragons and monsters.  There was one angelic young girl, Mia.  She must have been around 5 years old, with the sweetest lilt in her voice and the eyes of an angel.  She was very wary of me as I sat and chatted with the kids in the audience at the beginning of the show, moving away from me when I said “Hallo!”  Now her hand was insistently raised silently shouting “Pick on me! Pick on me!”  Dutifully I asked “What do you see in the Land of Imagination?”  Straight faced, Mia answers “Zombies.”  Later on in the show…”If you could speak any language other than your own, what would you speak?”  Mia…”Zombie Language.”  The audience cracked up.  Finally, the kids are all telling me their favorite books, stories and nursery rhymes.  “Yes, Mia…and your favorite story is?”  With a smile that filled the room she reacted right on cue “Percy Jackson and the …  Zombies!”

Each show is individual unto itself.  My “SOLD OUT!” audience will always be close to my heart.  Now the question remains, should I try to do this again.  Clearly yes!  I think?  Maybe?  Will I ever get another audience?  Will I ever sell out again?  Perhaps I’ll only ever sell out to Zombies?

Let’s see…

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Live Performances Coming to a Theatre Near You!!

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I am so excited to be able to perform some shows in my own theatre space, thanks to Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga.  I would love you to come and see the first couple of shows….

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday March 12th & Saturday March 19th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

The Definition of a Winner!

If you have been following my blog, I hope that you have figured out that I believe in a positive attitude when it comes to raising children.  It’s so uplifting  when you see your daughters following a similar philosophy.

I don’t know what bedtime conversation is in your household… The following took place in our home last night.

Olivia:  Do you ever feel like a loser, Tallulah?

Tallulah:  No?

Olivia:  ‘Cos if you do, you’re not you know.

Tallulah:  Really?

Olivia:  Yeah, ‘cos your sperm swam faster than all the other sperms and got to mom’s egg first.  See, no matter how much of a loser you sometimes feel, you’re always a winner!

Tallulah:  Mom?!!!

Now I have to define sperm for my six year old.


The Magic?

I often have children ask me whether I am real?  More philosophically profound when addressed to me as a mother in my workout clothing,  more understandable when addressed to me as Ms. Bits N’ Bobs with my brightly colored cloak covered in toys.

I always struggle with the answer.  Some children want to believe in the magic all the way, and if I tell them its all just make-believe, the entire experience is lessened.  Others are afraid, that if Ms. Bits n’ Bobs is real, that puts everything else into question, as in “does that mean the big bad wolf really can come and get me?”

We are Jewish.  That is why I feel it is important to tell you about my first Christmas.  For reasons that belie my current parenting angst, when I was eight years old, on a chilly December morning, my parents put me on a plane by myself from Johannesburg to Capetown, so that I could spend a vacation with my step-grandmother, Granny ‘Nita.  The two hour plane ride was completely uneventful – I wasn’t kidnapped, didn’t open the emergency doors and dance on the wings (it was tempting) and it didn’t even occur to me to pretend to be a terrorist.  Ah innocent days.

Granny ‘Nita met me at the airport with a safe hug and a smile and drove me through the lilac, Jacquaranda tree-lined streets to my step-mother’s childhood home in Bellville – where the mulberry tree overlooked the swimming pool.  Over the next few days, hands purple from squishing fresh mulberries into my mouth, I swam off excess energy and played with the newborn puppies of the household.

Christmas was approaching, an event noticeable in our household for eliciting yawns as one of the most boring days of the year.  We certainly didn’t celebrate a “Christian” holiday and clearly all the other kids were too busy for play dates on this day.

However, Uncle S. had married a “Christian” and we were going to her family’s home on Christmas day.  I was certainly politely curious about Xmas trees, Santa, presents etc… but definitely as an outsider who did not participate in these rituals.  The other family was also Afrikaans speaking making the whole experience even more exotic.

As was Granny ‘Nita’s way, I went with her on all her shopping chores.  On this particular day, a few days before Christmas, I was to help her find a birthday gift for one of her bridge buddies grandchildren, who fascinatingly enough was around my age.

Now, you know, I was on my best behavior throughout this holiday and today I was so excited to actually be useful.  Up and down the glittering aisles of tinsel, Granny ‘Nita and I paraded – was she thinking of something expensive or less so?  Granny ‘Nita wasn’t sure – so I pointed out both kinds.  Was she close to this child?  Should it be a very personal gift?  Yes, Granny ‘Nita was really fond of this little girl.  Was she a girly girl or more of a tomboy?  “A little of both” Granny ‘Nita replied after serious thought.

We didn’t end up purchasing anything that day for the lucky girl.  I was quite jealous of her actually, except clearly Granny ‘Nita preferred me as I hadn’t even met this girl yet.  I hope that she liked the gifts that I had helped to choose.

Christmas day arrived as uneventful as always.  I helped feed the puppies – then off to the Christmas festivities in “Afrikaansland” we went.  In South Africa, it was mandatory to learn Afrikaans from Kindergarten upwards.  However, aged eight, I’d never heard a bunch of people who actually spoke this language as their native tongue.  I’d always just thought of the lesson as an especially useless part of the school day.

At the party, there were at least twenty kids and they were super friendly and welcoming to me – in Afrikaans.  I understood NOT a word.  I smiled politely.

Then Santa came out.  Not from the fireplace, but the door near it.  It was Uncle S. – I understood not to tell the secret, not even if I could have in Afrikaans.  But I did finally comprehend that it was Jewish men who all played Santa.  At least we played some role on Christmas day.  He carried, should I say dragged the biggest, furry, red sack I had ever seen.  I understood that the childrens’ gifts would be inside and stood aside so that my new found, exuberant, Afrikaans friends could enjoy their bounty.  I also understood that there would be no gifts for me as this was not my holiday – in the same way that when you go to someone else’s birthday party, it’s completely acceptable for that child to get gifts but not you.

For although Uncle S. had dressed the role of Santa, clearly the real Santa had dropped the gifts through the chimney that morning and in the same way that G-d spared the Children of Israel at Passover – Santa spared us by passing over our Chimney’s at Christmas.

So, imagine my surprise when Uncle S. “Santa” yells my name with some Afrikaans words sprinkled in, from across the room  The sea of jolly, smiling kids parts the way and gift upon gift… upon gift are piled upon me – yes, little Jewish me – from Santa!

Every single gift that I had so thoughtfully suggested to Granny ‘Nita for “that other girl” were oohed and aahed over by my new non-English speaking friends.  From a manicure set, to a beautiful doll, a paint set and a snow globe, I got the most gifts out of everyone.

I knew the gifts were from Granny ‘Nita.  Clearly, she did too.  But we both knew the gifts were officially from Santa.  When I asked her how I could say thank you, Granny ‘Nita just said “Keep the magic alive in your life”.

I still have the manicure set and Granny ‘Nita your magic lives on in my heart.

What is your OCD?

I was with a group of friends out at dinner recently when we started discussing our weird tics and habits.  One good friend has the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) of checking all the locks on her doors twice before she goes out.  My other friend always checks that the stove is turned off.  There is the “no-lipstick on my teeth” checking friend and the “I can’t throw anything away” friend.  Then came my turn.  Whilst I cannot immediately think of any strange tics or habits… I do like to dress up in a brightly colored cloak, covered in toys each day and go out and sing and dance and tell stories to children.

There is nothing quite as wonderful as walking into a roomful  of children and waving at them whilst watching them wonder why is this bizarre woman dressed so strangely and wildly waving at me?  Only moments later as they are laughing at how their gentle high-fives cause me to howl in pain, and how I apparently cannot get my hat on my head correctly…do we dance hand in hand into the joyful Land of Imagination, where we can go anywhere and do anything.

The month of July has taken me to libraries and Summer Camps all over Los Angeles and the OC.  There have been rich libraries and poor libraries, older and younger kids, exhausted and exhilarated parents (mostly exhausted), and kind, encouraging children’s librarians.

Memorable moments for this Summer have been the Summer Camp where all forty kids decided that they needed to take their shoes off in order to go galloping as magical horses to the Land of Imagination.  Getting hugs from a ten year old girl who has been coming to my shows since she was four years old.  The child who kept interrupting my show to inform me that he was dressed as a bee and would be flying as one today.  There was the  father who was so engrossed in conversation with another grown-up that he didn’t notice his two year old until she had reached my ipod station and was changing all the music settings in the middle of a show.  The family who came to get autographs on the back of my business card.  I didn’t know whether to sign it Ms. Bits n’ Bobs or Nicole.  But mostly, there is the look of wonder when we open the magical Storybook Land book at the end of the show and the stories which have gone missing are all magically returned.

So, when life is getting you down, the bills are piling up and the kids are screaming and yelling that they are bored in the Summer time.  Pick up a jacket or a sweater, a table-cloth or a tea towel.  You know those toys on the floor that you always trip on at midnight.  Tie those to the tablecloth.  Fling it over your shoulder.  Choose the silliest name you can think of.  Put on some music and go dance with your children.

If that doesn’t work, just call me.

Overwhelmed by Technology

Before I begin my rant observation about being overwhelmed by technology, please allow me to express my love for the iphone camera and for allowing me to take the above photo.  It was shot on a whim from whence I write this story (with a pencil and paper by the way…mostly ‘cos I’m afraid of getting sand into any computerish thing…when will they invent a sand -resistant computer anyway?).  I am sitting on the warm sand at the edge of the Pacific Ocean on a calm and sunny day, listening to the warbling aqua-marine waves and the free-flowing laughter of my children and their friends building a sandcastle.

However, if you think there is not extensive competition to this idyllic scene, then little do you know the upcoming generation.  My family, I include everyone except myself and the cats – and they just might be playing computers on the sly – are completely obsessed with this on-line game entitled Runescape.  I’ve half a mind to rename it Ruinscape, as its fantasy play is attempting to pull my husband and children away from any interaction with the real world whatsoever.

Not to mention the multiple other “game” devices on offer, XBox, PSP, Wii etc….  I hear the 1950’s mother in my voice.  Those hippie kids taking LSD, Xstacy…  Hmmmm… But what’s in a name anyway, right?

On the other hand, there are some educational games called Jumpstart and Reader Rabbit that teach reading and math skills in the most creative ways possible.  Recently, one of my kids told me they were going to write a book, clearly influenced by the fantasy play on Runescape.  I just read an article in last Sunday’s LA Times about a girl who needed to learn the Periodic Table.  She downloaded an app. on her Ipad, thinking she would just peruse through it as a way to help her sleep.  Two hours later, her imagination was exploding with ideas on the fascinating world of the elements.

When I am not busy attempting to understand and come to terms with how much or how little access my kids and their friends should have to this technology, I am listening to messages on my answering machine, my cell-phone voicemail, my e-mail, my Facebook.  Seriously, I can still remember calling someone and if the phone kept ringing, I simply tried calling later.  (I think that last sentence was my Grandma Gus talking through me.)  Did I mention texting and on-line chat or comments on my blog?

Oh yes, my kind, friendly reader… herein lies the supreme irony and paradox of my rant…err, I mean observations.  Whilst the multiple forms of communication numb and overwhelm me, I am passionate about the instant access of a blog post.  I love the comments.  I want more.  Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Wanna drag me into the 21st Century?  Let me know.  Immediately!  Especially you, Deanna!   I ran into Deanna on the beach and we went into double rant mode.

Then there is the feeling of inadequacy.  My learning curve is antiquated.  Imagine how my mom must feel?  She has to buy a new computer.  Just the thought of that is driving her towards a migraine.  I sympathize. I don’t get the pings, the trackbacks and the widgets.  Ooh!  Nor does my spell-check apparently.  Now, if I deny my children much of this new technology, won’t I be holding back on an intrinsic part of their education?  I swear, my children were born holding a mouse in their hands. Now, just imagine what your grandma would think of your child-rearing habits if she just read that sentence.

I vowed before I ever became a parent that I wouldn’t be one of those mothers who just didn’t “get the next generation”.  However, I have been blind-sided.  I don’t know whether to love it or hate it.  I grapple with how to control it.  I am distinctly aware of how it is trying to control me.  I am wary of embracing it too much.   Yet, if I live a technology free lifestyle, I will lose all access to my children’s way of thinking.  If I keep my kids away from technology they will no longer fit into society (or at least the society we live in).  How much is too much?  How little is too little?

My iphone got the Black Ring Of Death over the weekend.  Our Xbox was diseased with the Red Ring Of Death last year.  My computers, poor babies, have succumbed to random virus’s.  When was I ever naive enough to think that all parenthood involved was keeping one’s children healthy?

Games, Games and More Games

Summer is coming kids!  There are some amazing camps out there.  Ice-skating, archery, diving, horse-back riding, tennis – which ones shall I sign you up for?

Olivia:  We don’t want to go to any camp.

Me:  (In my head)  Do you know what incredible opportunities are available to you?

Tallulah:  But we want to stay home with you.  We love you.  We want to be with you.

Me: (in my head)  Seriously?  Playing the “I love you” card?

Olivia:  We have worked really hard in school this year.  We want to relax.

Me:  (in my head)  What are you talking about?  Your whole life is relaxing.  Ahh, but I remember the children’s dictionary definition of relaxing.  — staring bleary-eyed into the cavernous reaches of a television set all day.  For variety, add the computer, the Wii (who thought of that fantastic name?) or the XBox.   Include brief interludes of rising to interrupt me at exactly the moment I happen to be on the phone to ask for cookies or ice-cream.

Tallulah and Olivia then pull out the ultimate weapon – the cute adorable faces that melt even the toughest of grown-up’s intentions and turn steely resolve into compromised deal-making.

Me:  OK, OK…  here’s the deal.  You have to take at least two types of sports classes and if I need you to come to a Ms. Bits n’ Bobs show for my work, you cannot tell me the entire ride there and back how you would be a far better storyteller than I.

Impassioned negotiations ended with the choosing of Tennis and Ice-skating lessons.  (To be honest, they only really agreed to Tennis.)  I threw in the ice-skating in a totally unfair, underhanded and unpredictable manner – something to do with associating ice-skating with ice-cream – who knows?  Let’s just hope they don’t read this blog anytime soon.

So “Tennis with Lila” began last week and they both loooved it!  They were put into appropriate age groups and played games including “Hobo” and “Tennis Hockey.”  They loved it so much, within a few hours of returning, they begged me to take them to the local tennis courts to practice!?!

Oh, and let me tell you, I’m now patting my own motherly back, thinking — not too humbly — I knew that if I just signed them up they would enjoy it.   Soooo, we proceed to the local store, pick up a load of practice balls on the cheap and the girls are psyched to show me how great they are. If Lila can do it, so can I.

We arrived to the tennis courts and I diligently set up the practice.  I throw some balls for Olivia to hit, while Tallulah runs around the court and picks them up.  Followed by some hitting practice with Tallulah, while Olivia retrieves.  May I brag?  They were great.   In just one lesson Lila and her tennis games have taught my girls tons.  They are hitting nine out of ten balls over the net and some are even landing within the court.  Wimbledon, here we come!

Forty minutes later, I notice a sheen of sweat on both faces.  Congratulations, Mama. I think.  You’ve even given your girls a cardio workout.  Then…

Olivia:  Now you’ve ruined tennis for us, mum.

Tallulah:  Yep, its ruined.

Olivia:  We don’t want to play tennis anymore.

Tallulah:  Nope, no more.

Olivia:  That was not fun.  Picking up balls for Tallulah is boring.

Tallulah:  BOOOORING!

Olivia:  Yep, tennis is Boring.

Tallulah:  BOOOORING!

Olivia:  We need to go home and relax.

Tallulah:  Relax, definitely RELAX.

How had I failed so miserably?  I, who pride myself on entertaining children had messed up horribly.  It’s probably the pride, right.  One of the seven deadly sins.  The kids are verbally flagellating me.  I am flagellating myself.  But why, why did they have so much fun with Lila and how had I managed to mess it all up?  What did Lila know that I didn’t?

I had played exactly by the rulebook that I had been taught as a child.  I had been very straightforward with my practice.  No nonsense.  I stood there, I threw the ball to them, they hit it and we did that again and again and again, over and over, for forty minutes.  Then I made them run around the court and pick up the balls, all in the mid- afternoon sun.

Then it hit me in the gut, like a Nadal 135 MPH serve.   It wasn’t fun.   It wasn’t relaxing.   It wasn’t a game.   I didn’t make it into a game, like Lila did.   How do you play HOBO?   The kids love that game.   There is a princess, a king and a hobo.   That’s a start. And now they’re hitting the ball with me.  It’s funny that the more I learn their rules, the more the kids love the game.

So, I’m going to get the rules of HOBO and I will post them in the Bits n’ Bobs of the week section. Then it strikes me: isn’t this the whole goal of my website!  Aren’t I supposed to live in The Land of Imagination?  This is the idea behind having a bit n’ bob of the week:  To post ideas of games, arts n’ crafts, stories, toys that can jumpstart our imaginations.   Once your imagination is engaged, learning a new game or skill can be fun… even relaxing.

‘ Cos life is a game. And when it’s a game, we can use our imagination to make learning fun.  And when it’s fun, we get more out the great game of life…