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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold night, warm hearts for this mother-daughter duo

I've always hoped my children would be involved in music the way I have, so it thrills me that my daughter has taken an interest in singing.

She joined the chorus at Wood Road Elementary and enjoys being part of a corporate singing group (absolutely no interest in solos). And for the second year, she expressed interest in being a part of our church choir performance during the Victorian Streetwalk.

There was no pressure from me; she piped right up when asked if she wanted to do it. She knew it would be cold out there during the night-time street festival. But, also like her mother, she likes to be where the action is, even if it means freezing her patootie off.

I was so proud of her, though. She stood in front with her book of music, her finger following the words so she wouldn't lose her place. She only turned around once to tell me, "My legs are cold, Mom," to which I replied, "Just move around a little as you're singing to keep warm."

After an hour-long set, we had a 15-minute break. Her first thought: beelining for a place with hot cocoa — a real treat on a cold night. I had only $3 in my pocket, so we had to ration our money. After spending a buck a piece on cocoa, we wandered in and out of a couple of shops where musicians were playing inside — listening for a few minutes to a harpist in one place and a man playing violin in another.

Then we were back in our choir rows by the Saratoga Springs City Center to do another hour-long set. What joy to watch her in front of me, swaying and grooving to the beat from song to song. At moments, when the large crowd that gathered to hear our Abundant Life Church singers was singing along with us, it seemed as though our voices were carrying all the way down Broadway.

Once we'd wrapped up our singing commitments, we wandered back through the crowds to spend our last dollar on a box of popcorn. We managed to get her a balloon, too, just as the folks doing balloon animals were wrapping things up for the evening.

As we walked back to the car, she sighed with satisfaction of the night's events. "I love Victorian walk," she said.

"Me, too," I told her. "I'm not sure if we should tell the boys, though."

My husband and son only see participating in this annual event as standing out in the cold. I admit I like having something that's our mother-daughter thing, so maybe we'll just keep the guys in the dark about how special it is.

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