Again I feel so privileged to have an amazing mom open her heart, soul, and home to me and this project. Christine is a wonder woman! Not only is she totally devoted to creating a fun-filled and artistic environment daily for her sweet-as-can-be daughter Bella, but she also spends her energies supporting all moms by giving them the most authentic and heart-felt portrayal of her journey in the currently running play (to which she directed and wrote) “Stretchmarks: Growing Into Motherhood”. A popular play written by mommas for mommas. I will be there on June 3rd. Here’s her wonderful and inspiring story…
Christine…I am an actress, writer, and drama teacher. I have in the past run my own Creative Storytelling Camps in which I help kids create their own unique plays to perform. Currently, I teach for the New Conservatory Theater, whereby I go to elementary schools and teach creative drama classes. I am the founder of The Momma Drama which promotes and produces the play “Stretchmarks: Growing into Motherhood”.
I also love photography, and I am a bit obsessed with capturing moments on whatever camera happens to be in my hand (of late, the iphone). In particular, I have loved documenting the blossoming of my daughter Bella.
I am also a heART hunter. I find hearts everywhere. All day long. I started a movement called heartsINature, which focuses on how these found hearts represent the love and beauty that surround us everywhere. And then I began the blog, the daily heART, which took this a step further and focuses on all the good in the world, people doing heARTistic things and organizations that seek to make the world a better place. Kind of hippie dippie, but grounded in East Coast sarcasm and humor, and so, it doesn’t go too far in either direction.
I am passionate about good music, books, folk art, shows, and LOVE good vittles and vino. Traveling is also ip there on my favorite list. Love to explore new cultures. I grew up in a nautical family, and my folks live on a boat, so being on or near the sea as often as possible is a requirement for me.
What do I bring to the table…I am the fun, creative mom, always the one running around with the kids. Willing to make a fool of myself and get dirty. I allow a lot of wiggle room. Yet, still have standards of how a little person should act in this world. Learning to be compassionate and kind is extremely important to me. I think I instill this in not only Bella, but all the kids I teach. It is also vital that kids are allowed to be goofy and unique, and be who they are meant to be. I nurture every child as someone who is lovely and amazing with lots to offer. Seeing kids bloom into confident, talented, friendly, funny caring people is the best thing in life.
Bella has taught me about unconditional love. She has given me an unselfish view of the world. It’s not all about me anymore. She has taught me how to make a wallet out of duct tape.
I had a pretty idyllic childhood. I grew up back East in the suburbs of Philly with a large loving family. I was the second of four in five years, so we were all close in age. We lived in a brick house with a lawn and lots of maple trees on a cul-de-sac street where we would play kick the can and dogdeball into the wee hours. My mom would ring the bell and we would go running. Our household was the “fun” one. My parents were a bit hippie and they had lots of parties. My mom didn’t work at first, my dad was the breadwinner. But then, she got her RN degree and began doing what she loved. She is my hero. Very competent and can momgyver anything…meals, clothes, bandages, bedding for boats, halloween costumes, and I believe she invented that foam pull out bed thingie. And although we had some tough years there, when I was 13, she’s still my hero. It wasn’t until I had Bella that I realized just how amazing she truly was. And she is still married to my dad after 50 years.
My personal style is summed up in the word “prippie”. It hasn’t changed much over the years, a cross between preppie and hippie. Kind of Ali MacGraw with lots of boots and blazers. Let’s just say the Goodwill up the street is my friend. And I am pretty much a natural, no makeup kind of gal. I’ve never been super girly. I love to swim and let my hair dry naturally. And as far as a beauty regime, um, I try and use toner and moisturizer daily. I’m 47 and though the cracks are showing, people have asked me how I manage to stay so young at heart. To that I say…pretty much every day I try to do the following things: a non-fat latte, water, a walk, a kind word, a glass of wine, and a belly laugh. It has worked for me.
Bella DiBiasi is 12…Bella’s Favorite Books…Pretty Little Liar Series, The Lying Game Series, Flipped, The Things Girls Do For Love, and The Hunger Games Series.
Bella is very creative. She went to Adda Clevenger the first 6 years of her life and there learned to dance, sing in a choir, and put on broadway caliber shows. She’s a gifted dancer and naturally talented musician. She can play the violin and pick up my guitar to teach herself songs off youtube. She is also a good athlete, and has played soccer and volleyball. Bella is into reading lately, and has even started to write her own book. She’s crafty…making little macaroon charms, crafts out of duct tape, knitting, and creating her own fashions.
Her room is kind of a transition. Since Bella is only there a few nights a week, we’ve made the formal dining room into her room. It’s cute but not super light and its in the middle of the house. If truth be told, she usually sleeps with me (shhh, don’t tell anyone). She’s still a little kid in this way. We often read together in bed or sing…it’s sweet. But she has a killer room at her Dad’s fancier house in Cole Valley with all the Pottery Barn bedding etc. So, I don’t feel so bad for her.
Our guilty pleasure shows are Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. We used to play music together (the tween-tude is emerging more and more these days). We have been known to toss the volleyball around in the back, and sometimes hoola hoop.
If I have Bella, I get up, wake her up, have her start getting ready…drive her to school. I pick her up between 3-4pm, bring her back home and she usually does her thing or we hang out. I will cook dinner and we eat together. Its pretty varied.
The most exciting moment as a mother was definitely seeing her for the first time. The most humbling…seeing her for the first time.
My advice to other moms…Take care of yourself. If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Don’t forget to laugh. And last, drink wine with other mommas!!
The best advice I have been given…There is no good and bad in mothering, there is only this grey area called “the best you can do”.
Christine and Bella you are a joy! Thank you for being so loving and inspiring to all mommas and daughters everywhere.
Come see the play with me on June 3rd, the Momma Drama. xxo.