Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Small Success Thursday: Living in the White Space ~ A Catholic Mom Link Up 10/17/13

Way way way before I had a blog, but not before  I loved to write, not before I was honored to become a columnist  for Catholic Mom,  not before I recognized the need for full time Moms to receive and to give  encouragement and support within our counter-cultural  society, I've been gaining inspiration from Small Successes Thursday.  Well, this lovely series is starting up again, thanks to Sarah's initiative and I'm delighted to participate.

I'm always, always surprised ( and flattered ) when a reader tells me that she gleaned a tip, a piece of inspiration or an idea from one of my posts. Always. And I'm not fishing for compliments here.  I'm just thrilled to be a part of the Catholic Mom family, thrilled to support any venture Catholic Mom offers AND what's more, I know I'll be graced with guidance and glimpses of devoted Motherhood  by others who contribute to the Small Successes series.
Sweet Dreams divider
As for my Small Success, this week, we're reveling in living and becoming in that white space on the calendar. Up until recently, we were so overbooked, so harried with our kids' sports, music, theater, choir, auditions, that we had to consciously and with some regret seriously curtail our commitments. I'm no longer running anything. No CYO division coordinator. No rosters, no emails to send,  to organize, no coaches' meetings to set up, uniforms to buy, games to officiate or generally  be in charge of. Nothing. Now I'm just a Mom on the sidelines with a camera. And can I tell you how completely great that is?

And the kids' social lives? They're severely minimized. If you've read my blog for any time, you'll know that my kids have been in numerous shows at local community theaters and they've had a good number of call backs on auditions as well. All that is wonderful, soul building, positive and amazing. But it does come with a price. And I don't mean filling the gas tank.
There was much family time missed so that one of them could take an extra curtain call after two weekends of shows and several months of rehearsals four and five times per week. Throw in harried dinners, costume accessory shopping and panicked script-drills. 

Just a few of our theatrical endeavors.........:

Yup, Capt Jas Hook
March 2012

As Egeus and .......
........ and as Thisbe in "Midsummer"
Fall 2011

As Robin in Robin in the 'hood, an original production...
 modern day Robin Hood Meets West Side Story
Summer 2013

Hansel and a little forest elf in The Bad Musical
summer 2009

The boy whose love made the 
velveteen bunny real
December 2008

 The Prince of Denmark~
lots more....those are the biggies.

Given the proximity of our home to The Great White Way ( 70 miles, but nothing compared to those who live across the country) the level of competition is becoming fierce as the kids get older. Those who don't get roles off off Broadway are coming further out into the 'burbs and boy are they good. Which means adrenaline is high and of course, yeah, that's a good thing.
 Competition is good.  Once in a while, rejection is even better.  
Last June T had three call backs for highly acclaimed theaters, each one for the role of Gavroche in Les Mis. The field narrowed and narrowed and alas, after much prep and even some anxiety, he wasn't cast in any theater. But what a lesson in life. 
 ( and in early 1800s French history!) What a feeling to have that potential exist and to have efforts rewarded in being asked  to return.  And in getting used to rejection. Because it's out there at every turn.

With a concerted effort to not look at those cast calls and after a serious discussion with the kids about the fact that we are taking time off ( as in, this is the first stretch of time since summer of 2008 that we're not prepping for a show of some sort)...well, those blank spots on the calendar?
They are fruitful. They're certainly not wasted.
And now they're full again. 
Full with  family nothingness.
Board  games.
A few quality and fun shows brought home from the library on DVD.
The family novel.
(We're done with Tolkien and may be rereading Narnia.)
And homemaking.

Because use of those blank white space to create a welcoming, 
warm home where memories are made and where rejection hurts but 
we learn to move on and try again.
That's right now, my call to motherhood.

So that is my small success for now.
Glancing at the calendar during the day to double check
our schedules and seeing that our evening is empty.
Only to be filled with the memories that cannot be gotten by driving through rush hour traffic to yet another audition, 
another rehearsal, another hell week.

Yep, those show are simply grand.
Especially those that are  immortal.
Lines that haunt you.
Lines that make you think, laugh, explore your soul.
Arthur Miller's All My Sons, anyone?? 
Now where are the Arthur Millers of our generation??

Timmy as Bert in the Miller classic
February 2013

The cast that breathes life into a playwright's words are genius.
Just genius.

 The standing Os are,,,well, there's nothing like them.
From what they tell me. 
Driving home from K's most recent  show in June,  he reflected,
"I was born to perform."
Well, may be. But let's take a break for now.
I'm not a stage person.
Just a behind the scenes kinda Mom.
Trying to hold time still while it blurs past us as a car
 speeding down the highway.
Celebrate the birthdays, the milestones and  yet, the extra ordinariness of it all too.

Sweet Dreams divider

What are your small success?
Please share!
You are welcome to add your link below if you are a blogger
or to tell us in the comments, too!

Thank you for visiting!
I very much appreciate the time you spemd here at my corner of the web.
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I'd love to stay in touch with you regularly!

And please click to Catholic Mom for more Small Successes

I'm also gratefully linking this to Magic Moments.
Please click over to be inspired by others' posts as well! 
Until next time,



  1. Wow, living in the "white space." I've never heard that before but it makes a lot of sense. We're about to embark on 4H and karate but I do NOT want it taking over our lives. We often go somewhere on the weekends too (we live in a small town far from most things, LOL) but I'm actually looking forward to winter when we can just "be." I enjoyed this post, found it on Thriving Thursdays. Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for your visit and for your kind words!

      I definitely hear you on the outside activities! Hopefully, there will be a rhythm cultivated for all of you and the extras in life will work out just fine! You have a great outlook!

      Have a lovely day, Stephanie!

  2. Awwww, Chris! This was an awesome blog. I love that "white space" phrase. This year it is ME that is over scheduled. Work is fine...only 12 hours a week...but being PTO president is just too much. Hubby and I agreed to limiting the kids to 1 after-school activity first it hurt not to allow our children to participate in so many good things...things that truly do bear good fruit...but white space bears good, holy fruit as well. And sometimes we need to say no to allow others to say yes...or not to our children to allow them to grow through peace and calm. Looking forward to next school year when I am relieved of my PTO duties and can step away for a few years!

    1. Valerie
      Couldn't agree more....but it does seem right now that the Lord is calling you to minster in this way at PTO. it's gotta be hard.......Limiting is great....
      I LOVE what you are writing about saying no in order to say YES!
      That is so wise!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for visiting!


  3. I am loving your blog. Wow. Living it the white space of it! Thanks for being part of Small Success Thursday!

    1. Thanks, Sherry!

      I appreciate your visit and I so loved participating!

      Take care:)

  4. NICE! I am a theater mom too; my older 2 kids do stage crew (even the one in college) and my younger one loves his chances to be in the spotlight. He just got started rehearsing for a show and I do know that balancing act SO well. Thank you for the reminder to consider prayerfully before committing to a role or other activity! (Are you in NJ? I see that you are 70 miles from NYC. I'm just outside Philly.)

    1. Hey Barb!
      So kind of you to stop in!
      Wow, the theater is in your family's blood, huh? Good for them?
      Now, we are not in Jersey,. we're on LI, out "east." But I wish I was in your neck of the woods...I know of so many HSers around there!

      Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words, Barb!
      I appreciate your visit!

      Take care

  5. Wow! Powerful post! Just as soon as I deliberately create white space in my life, someone sneaks in and fills up my calendar again! ;) This is a constant battle, harder to fight than keeping clutter at bay! Thanks for sharing! This was my favorite quote:

    Because use of those blank white space to create a welcoming,
    warm home where memories are made and where rejection hurts but
    we learn to move on and try again.
    That's right now, my call to motherhood.

    Good food for thought!


    1. Aw, thanks, Elizabeth......yes, clutter is nothing compared to time! Good point.
      Your kind words made my day!

      Thank you

  6. Such fun pictures and a meaningful message! Thank for sharing at Magic Moments Monday!


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