My Daughters, Trixie Pixie and The SheVil Dead

Middle and Youngest meet The SheVil Dead’s Trixie Pixie

This weekend I dragged my family to a Roller Derby Bout. Now this was not just any bout, this was the Bay Area Derby Girls championship between the San Francisco SheVil Dead and the Richmond Wrecking Belles. I had always wanted to go to one of these, so with a rare free weekend, off we went.

It was awesome.

It was awesome for all of the reasons that you might imagine: the athleticism and bad-assery of the skaters, the love and energy of the fans and the general vibe of this historic American subculture.

Again. Awesome.

What I most loved about the evening – besides this – were my daughters’ reactions throughout the evening. While the Wrecking Belles eventually won by four points, our family proudly screamed and clapped for our hometown team throughout the bout. As we tried to grasp the rules, follow the action on the rink and dodge the feisty Belles fans shouts of “She cut, she cut!” our family fully joined in with a huge crowd of derby lovers!

Not only were my daughters, who are slight of build, excited to see  another group of women who were athletic, tough and exhibiting integrity in competition, they were no more excited than when Trixie Pixie lined up as the SheVil Dead jammer. Trixie Pixie was quick, tough and “skated big” throughout the night. Each time she lined up, our girls screamed, “Go Trixie Pixie! Go Trixie Pixie!” because in her, they saw what they could be – and are – though small of stature, they could play oh so big.

While I do not want to over-assess the impact of this event, – my daughters are indeed formed by the strong women who are in their day-to-day lives – these public expressions are also important images for my girls to see. In Trixie Pixie and the rest of the skaters they saw adult women who embodied the many things that we try to teach them about being a strong and secure person in the world. There are so many messages in the world, both subtle and blatant, that tell them that as females, they are somehow “less than” males, that these public crowd-drawing moments of female strength of body, mind and spirit are important for them to experience.

And yes, we will be going back next season . . . and maybe we’ll even know the rules. Go SheVil Dead!

If you want to know more about the championship and a little more about the rules, here is a great recap from Richmond Confidential. You can also follow the Bay Area Derby girls on twitter: @bayareaderbygrl.


Parenting is a Dance

Unless of course you count the eye-roll inducing faux break-dancing I do every once in a while just to embarrass my children, I am not what you would call “a dancer.” I am more of a head-bobbing, groove-to-the-beat, Breakin’ wannabe kind of guy. Over the past 20 years, my wife and I have taken a few dance classes, attended a few soirées and it is always fun. We don’t go and dance enough. Not really a regret, just a fact of our life.

But we do dance in some ways every day. We parent.

Of all the metaphors out there about life the most powerful one for me has always been, “It’s a dance.” Whether it is work, family, faith or parenting the nuances of dancing shine through in many ways.

  • Sometimes we are graceful; at other times we are awkward.
  • Sometimes we need to waltz; at other times the Electric slide must be done.
  • Sometimes we are alone; at others times we need to dance with a group.
  • Sometimes we must lead; at other times we must allow ourselves to be lead.
  • . . . and so on and so on.

This week our house has been filled with “the dance” of planning for the future: summer and beyond. In the midst of the stress of balancing parental workloads, the realities of finances, time, energy, interest, etc. – all important variables – our youngest daughter posted this sign on her door.

Yes, sweetie, yes they are.

Ah parenthood . . . I think this is one of those “allow ourselves to be lead” moments in the dance.