A girl at school asked how long my family has been in this country, my daughter says. I told her two hundred years. Some people in your father's family came here in the 1700s, I respond. A pot of chicken soup simmers on the stove. Opened envelopes and permission slips litter my desk as I slowly sort through them after a summer of travel and a fall full of home repairs. A reminder pops up on my phone to drop off golf clubs for the class outing to a country club. I schedule private fencing lessons for all three children while a group text message appears on my phone with the opportunity for a lesson with an Olympic coach five minutes from home.
When I was twenty-eight years old, I purchased my first complete set of golf clubs. Up until then, I had been using stray irons and a very good driver that I purchased at a Manhattan sporting goods store. My husband and I drove to golf courses all over New York and New Jersey. We got married on a golf course. Packed clubs on a fencing trip to Palm Springs, racing to play a few holes after getting eliminated from our tournament. Everywhere we went, I checked the sunset schedule to see if we had enough time to play before darkness made it impossible to see the ball. When my eldest child began attending a new school, I registered her for an after school program taught by golf pros. And now? I tell her that she can keep my clubs and transfer them to the special lightweight bag her dad bought for her years ago.
#entrepreneur #momlife #sports
This Saturday @newportnjapts
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Mother Pupper! Tomorrow’s Monday.
Your daughter's fencing form looks really good, I tell my friend. Boxes that contained dinner for two families lie strewn across silver tables among homework, bags and coats. Minutes before, I helped a child put on fencing gear. Pulled her long curly hair out from under the silver metal outer jacket. Adjusted the length of the electric body cord dangling down her leg. And then sent her off to battle with my daughter, telling them both that I will be working out on the strip next to theirs if they need me. Outside, darkness has fallen. Fans blow creamy curtains in the warm air coming in through open windows. Both of our families have been here for hours, sitting through multiple waves of classes for different age groups. The door buzzer rings again and again as parents and children come and go. Halloween decorations sit on the dining table at home, awaiting a break for excited children to adorn walls and doors.
When I was twenty-four years old, I began working in the office at my Manhattan fencing club. Over the next eight years, I learned about all aspects of the organization. I attended formal fundraisers with people who contributed millions of dollars to support our sport. Worked on pitches to run world cups in Grand Central Station. When local schools approached the club asking for instructors to teach after-school programs, I helped identify college students with schedules that would allow them to work with younger children. And above all? I watched families with multiple children grow up in the sport.
#entrepreneur #momlife #sports
Your daughter is in here almost every day buying bread, the person says. I give her money to buy food for dinner, I respond. There is a farmer's market by her school every week, she buys freshly picked tomatoes and whatever ingredients I am missing. Now we are growing our own vegetables and herbs. My eldest child rides past on her scooter while I pick up her younger siblings from school. She is on her way to visit a friend who attends school one block away. My husband texts me about arranging a sleepover. I send him screenshots of texts our kid sent me about an upcoming television appearance. A three day weekend is about to start. I reschedule work around unexpected school early dismissals and doctor appointments. The end of the year is approaching, and we need to use up medical expense bank accounts or forfeit the balance.
When my husband was twenty-five years old, he sustained a leg injury at a fencing competition that put him into physical therapy for months. I upended my work schedule in order to drive him into his office every day. When our children were born, he performed a test on them to determine if they were likely to suffer similar sports injuries. Once we got a sense of what we were dealing with, we came up with a plan to help our kids avoid injury. And now? After racing home to watch her friends on television, my kid tells me that a parent approached her at the park asking for advice about buying fencing equipment and training schedules.
#entrepreneur #momlife #sports
Did you ever get detention? my husband asks. My high school didn't have detention, I respond. White satin ribbon is draped over chairs beside lengths of black fabric. Birthday gifts sit in a welter of crumpled gold paper waiting for my youngest child to finish wrapping them. All three of my children have been assembling their Halloween costumes for months. They get inspired by toys in the clearance aisle. I order garments to complete the designs drawn by my eldest child. Every weekend is a flurry of cutting, sewing and trying on ensembles in front of the full-length hall mirror.
I spent my childhood learning to play an extensive array of sports. I had ice skating lessons. Went downhill skiing. I played tennis every winter in indoor bubbles, stepping around patches of ice to get to the entrance tucked into a corner out of the wind. Nothing was a good fit, although I did make it onto the tennis and softball teams in high school. So what drove me to lift weights and run miles along the windswept Brooklyn shore? Flatwater kayaking. A sailing class led to an introduction to a former Olympian who coached at the waterfront club. From the first time I stepped off the swaying dock into the fragile hull, I was captivated. Why? Because while everyone else around me was capsizing, I was the only one who was able to stay afloat.
#entrepreneur #momlife #balance
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I can't set up attacks against you anymore, my husband says. Crystal candlesticks sit beside a bowl of rosy blooms on a table with sunshine slanting over it. Four sets of fencing gear hang drying on a rack, elastic straps slung over hooks after the hanger space filled up. A pink golf club sits wrapped in plastic ready for a weekend practice session. Puff pastry thaws in the kitchen, waiting to be turned into apple strudel. In minutes, I will head out for a day of appointments before picking up our three children from an early school dismissal.
One year ago, I began taking professional fencing lessons. During that time, I focused exclusively on lessons and footwork. Why didn't I attend group practice? Because my youngest child was too young to be left alone for extended periods of time. Over the months, my actions became faster and crisper. Coaches stood watching during my lessons, commenting on my speed and accuracy. Two weeks ago, I began practice bouting. My first practice was with Olympians. My second, with veterans. Last night, I participated in a full evening training session. In bout after bout, my point was on target despite my opponents' best efforts to prevent me from hitting their exposed areas. And when I retrieved my children to head out into the night? A friend had already fed them dinner.