Archive for November, 2012

A post at The Next Family

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and to mark the occasion, a blog I love, The Next Family, ran daily posts representing different voices in the adoption constellation.

 I’m honored that an essay I wrote was included. 

The title is Mateo’s Family Tree, and people who have read this blog for a while will recognize the piece from its earlier incarnation as a blog post that I later developed into a back-page essay first published by Adoptive Families magazine. 

Thank you to The Next Family!


A spectacular spectacle

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Over Veterans’ Day weekend, friends we met through Latin American Heritage Camp came to visit. And because their daughter, like our daughter, studies ballet, I bought tickets for four of us–the two girls, the other mother, and me–to a performance by Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez. For years, I’ve heard about this company, and now that I’ve finally seen them, I can say, without reservation, if they ever come to your town, or anywhere close, run, don’t walk, to the box office  to buy yourself a ticket.

The costumes! The music! The passion! The pageantry! All absolutely fabulous.

The program notes state that Ballet Folklorico was founded by Amalia Hernandez in 1952, and numbers 76 dancers. Hernandez’s goal in starting the company was to preserve the folk dances of Mexico. That she has done, and then some. Every piece was more intricate and involved than the one previous, and just when I thought the choreography and costumes could never top themselves, out would parade a line of mariachis, or a few dozen people decked in quetzal headdresses, or a man lassoing a rope over his head in a breathtakingly display of skill and arm strength.  

The girls loved it!

My only complaint–and it’s not a complaint, really, but an observation–is that the floor of the venue stage–in this case, the Marin County Civic Center–was covered with a thick rubber mat. Alas, this is common in performance spaces, but I know from my years of tap-dancing that a wooden floor is what the intricate footwork of Ballet Folklorico cries out for. Rubber deadens the rat-a-tat-tat of the heel drops, turning them into dull thuds.

But this is a small quibble. Ballet Folklorico is a must-see, especially for families like ours. Go!


Mamalita at Literary Mama

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Me again. There’s so much happening in Guatemala lately–a terrible earthquake and a monster aftershock, the shooting of unarmed protestors by the military in Totonicapan. But, at the moment, I’m not here to write about that.

Right now, I’m posting a link to A Conversation with Jessica O’Dwyer, published this week at Literary Mama by my friend and writing colleague, Marianne Lonsdale. 

Thank you, Marianne and Literary Mama. I’m honored!