Holly Robinson Peete: All of us moms have just witnessed the same time period of the school year: Spring Break. The kids are home from school, some for a week and others for two weeks. And so we plan: activities, vacations, camp. Anything to keep them occupied and from driving us batty.
The Peetes played and worked hard over Spring Break. The entire family - yes, all 6 of us - had a relaxing time in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a few days. The beach was gorgeous, the water crystal blue, and kids fished, played on the sand, jet skied and mommy returned tanned and relaxed. And then we were off to work - yes, the entire family. The kids enjoyed their annual co-starring role in mommy's Colgate commercial, especially Robinson who will soon become the new Peete thespian in the family. What a ham!
My daughter Ryan and I also spent a couple of days in New York to announce our new book. "My Brother Charlie" was Ryan's inspiration many years ago, and she is truly proud to have Scholastic as our publisher. We met with "buyers" (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc) to talk about our experience writing the book together and why a book about twins, one atypical with autism and the other a typical child, is important for children and parents of all ages, demographics and circumstances. The most exciting part of the trip was to receive a "galley" of the book and for the first time to see the AMAZING drawings of our illustrator, Shane Evans. He truly captured our story with his art. Next April you will be able to see it too. We can't wait to share Ryan's realized dream of being a published author with all of you.
While this seems like a full two weeks, we Peetes never plan lightly. In the midst of book promotions, Mexico and a Colgate commercial the family moved from its home of 12 years. Anyone with small children knows this is never easy. Our kids were excited by the prospect of new surroundings, until it was time to move. And then we had the same breakdowns many of you have probably experienced: will I have to change schools? If I do, will I make new friends? Will my old friends still be my friends? What about my bedroom, will it be the same or different? But I don't want to sell that at the garage sale, can't I keep everything? What about Harriet (the dog)?
And so Spring Break with the kids ended. And then I was off to New York for World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. I am proud to be a recent addition to the Autism Speaks board, and immediately accepted when they asked me to participate in this very important day. It's important for our family on a personal level with our son RJ still struggling mightily with autism and a larger global level. We know what awareness, education, and research have done for our boy, and without the questions we asked and access we had that his many milestones might not have been reached. We want that for all children who have been diagnosed with autism and their families. Every child should have the opportunity to succeed. For that to happen, we need awareness, education, research, and open honest dialogue about treatment and causation. And that's what this day -- April 2nd -- is about. It was amazing to be at the New York Stock Exchange and help ring in the morning bell. That place was a little surreal, like a movie set... so fascinating! I got to meet Yoko Ono, one amazing woman, who created an art piece titled "Promise" which was unveiled at the United Nations. It is made up of 67 pieces (representing the 67 million people worldwide who have autism) and each piece will be auctioned off to benefit Autism Speaks; and when there is a cure, all the pieces will come back together. What a beautiful idea! And then I ended my day with a trip to CNN where I had a very civil discussion about vaccine safety. No Bias, No Bull Baby! It was a full day, exhausting, and yet invigorating all at the same time.
When I got back to LA I immediately started shooting a pilot for a new comedy series for ABC. It stars Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) and it's sorta like Ugly Betty set in the daytime talk show world. I play a narcissistic talk show host ... It was a blast and I hope it makes the fall schedule. We'll see ...
After the shoot, I came to that realization every mom has ... What about me? I've cared for the family, planned vacation for the kids, given time to work and advocacy, but what about me? And so I thought I needed to better care for myself and chose one thing I thought I could control: diet. Like every mom, I eat with the kids ... potato chips, McDonalds ... or I eat at work events ... passed appetizers, cheese plates, wine. But my eating isn't balanced or healthy on a regular basis. And as we head into Spring, and then Summer, I wanted to make this my goal. But being a crazy gazulti-tasking mom, with kids, work, husband, travel, moving all on my plate I wasn't sure I could give this my full attention and dedication. So I asked for help! I've decided that if someone can get me started, put me on a routine I can take it from there.
So I put Rodney and myself on Freshology (yes, hubby too ... I'm not doing this alone!). We are fortunate enough to be able to have a food delivery service (although not for an eternity ... but to help us get our routine started). And we aren't doing it to "diet," but to get healthy, eat proper portions, shed some pounds, gain energy. I've done these types of services before, although not this one. I'm excited to get going ... to refresh myself with a balanced diet which I know in turn provides a healthy mind and an energy source I don't get from eating my kids' leftovers. But let me be honest ... I'm truly excited about the convenience of it all, and well, the dessert!
Now Spring Break has come and gone. Take a moment for yourself ... before you have to think about summer vacation!