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When I was in Grade Six we had to do a public speaking assignment on who we’d want to be, if we could be anyone.

It was 1988. So the majority of the class talked about how they wanted to be Tiffany, Debbie Gibson or Wayne Gretzky.

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Me? I got up and told everyone I wanted to be the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Why? Well, because there was a woman with the power to take care of business!

My speech basically ran through everyone I would decapitate in my new role as your Queen of Hearts:

  • Boring Disney Princesses who didn’t DO anything
  • My piano teacher and swim coach (Hands like oranges? Up at 5:00 am? Pfft!)
  • Anyone in the audience who was being a bit too judgemental or looking at me funny
  • The Governor General at the time (yup! political at 11) for spending all our money taking fancy trips (this then freed up her lawn to play croquet, which I would do with all those birthday lawn flamingos that were so popular back then)

Rideau Hall – Governor General’s Residence. Photo courtesy of here and flamingos from here.

I won the speech contest. I’ve written about it more fully here. But because I won I presented in front of the entire school. It was comic. I paused for effect. I pranced around in Queenly fashion. Everyone laughed. I held the attention of everyone in that gym. It was a powerful – an empowering – feeling.

My life at eleven felt so often in the control of others.

But in that moment there I was running the show. And so owning my life.

In control of my circus.

Looking back, I think that moment – that feeling – left a lasting impression.

I quest for that moment.

I write a lot on my blog about the challenges of working parenthood. About the many times it doesn’t work, as well as the times that it does.

But there are many times that my life at thirty-eight feels so often in the control of others.

I’ve also written a number of times about my soft spot for Britney Spears.

If I had to do that speech now, I might choose her.

Because there are moments where I truly feel I can identify with her and am in awe of at least the outward togetherness of her life.

I cheer her on during those times where she runs her world like a circus and is clearly in control.


Image links to source

I smiled at my recent media search of her, and her recent performance at the Billboard Awards. She seems to have the working parenting thing working at the moment.

And while I celebrate her success, I also felt for her in those moments when she was clearly going through stuff.

Links to source

Links to source

Getting through all that showed a level of … survival skills and professionalism I admired. I can’t pretend to understand her life, but I can admire how she’s at times handled it. I love that she’s human and showed it. I find her relatable despite our obvious differences. I hope she continues to grow with her audience and sing about her life in ways that continue to connect with her fans.

But enough about Brit and back to me. As a recap of my last week, while also working full-time, I:

  • coordinated replacement of our defective bathtub (which was leaking into our basement and so unusable) – so three-day job involving contractors, the tub manufacturer, deposits/transfers/payments, delivery people who “lost” our address despite it being listed in the waiver I signed, being down a shower during the daily morning gauntlet etc…
  • successfully got both my kids into the SAME after school care program for next year after one was initially declined (begging works, or I got lucky – thrilled either way)
  • helped prepare all week on top of regular homework for my daughter’s Grade One presentation on her favourite animal. She chose a bunnies. Wikimini rocks. Web research with a 6-year-old doesn’t. Did you know baby bunnies are blind? And, even more awesomely, our computer chair SPINS?
Bunnies - as presented by my 6-year-old. They live in les terriers ou des cages, sont herbivores et comme bébé sont aveugles. Also goes to French school and I'm the anglo parent. But I got this!

Bunnies – as presented by my 6-year-old. They live in les terriers ou des cages, sont herbivores et comme bébé sont aveugles. She also goes to French school and I’m the anglo parent. But I got this! Photo credits: Burrow is from Wikipedia Commons; cage is from here; baby bunnies by Gnangarra here; carrot eating bunnies here.

  • made it to Junior Kindergarten welcome night that didn’t allow kids on a night my parents, our regular babysitters, were out-of-town and my husband had plans (which he then had to cancel). There I avoided committing to Saturday morning 9:00am family bowling with the family friend who runs that league because just no.
  • cleaned house, had daughter’s tutoring session, went to gym, made it to Girl Guide Cookie Sales at mall and then delivered daughter to playdate all before 3:00pm on Saturday. Just in case you thought I was being too harsh about the bowling.
  • completed a 10K at Ottawa Race Weekend Saturday evening during a heat wave (seriously, the race coordinators were changing start times and posting articles about how heat kills with marathon survival tips) when I hadn’t trained as much as I’d hoped. Check out my “I survived!” medal!


So last week? Hectic? Sure.

But, I ran it.

Like a what?

Like a circus.

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