How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? 8 and 10 years old. We moved to Westport in August, 2017…so we are newbies!
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time? I think it is right now. On the cusp of having a tween. That moment when I am going to hold my daughter’s hand…and it could be met with an immediate clasp and cuddle, or it could be met with an eye roll. I started reading the book Untangled to help me.
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? Well, since we are new to Westport, we are just finding our way. So, I would be better off receiving ideas rather than giving them! HAH! That being said, we are really enjoying going to the beach….be it to throw a frisbee or to look at the moon.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? The first time we visited family friends in Martha’s Vineyard. The girls were about 4 and 6. We drove to the Cape and took the ferry across to MV. Our friends lived on a very secluded property with a giant lake. As soon as my kids saw our friend’s kids, they all ran to greet each other, took all of their clothes off and ran for the lake. They grabbed frog’s nets along the way. It was all just so carefree.
What is the best white lie you have told your kids? This is a few years back now. We were in the car and one of my girls asked “So how did I get inside your belly?” And with complete sincerity I said, “That is such a good question. I really have no idea.”
What is your proudest mommy moment? When my girls share with me a small moment from their day that highlights how they were kind and how someone was kind to them.
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids?
For me… Canva, for my kids… Inventioneers.
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? City Block Sheer by Clinique with SPF 25.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a family dinner? A night out with friends? With friends….We went to El Segundo in Norwalk for my birthday! Food was sooo yummy and they sang me the GREATEST birthday tune to the 50 Cent song. And the candle on the cake was like a firecracker. I was laughing very, very hard! Again, because we are newbies to Westport…our favorite family restaurant is….well, our patio. We didn’t have that in NYC….so for now, that is totally winning over going to a restaurant.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I LOVE to do hip-hop dance. (at Double up Dance….it’s amazing!!)
If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? I probably would have become a chemist.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? I would start by drinking a delicious, creamy, hot cup of coffee. It would be hot the whole time I was drinking it! I’d have a foot massage. I’d eat a hot crusty baguette with butter. Maybe almond butter. I’d have someone come over and play songs on the piano. Then I’d change that out for some guitar. There might be a jam session. And there’d probably be an afternoon nap!
What is your most marked characteristic? My creativity.
What is your greatest regret? That I stopped taking piano lessons.
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? My children’s album Harmonize came to be because I wanted to answer a question that my eldest daughter had, and the best way I knew how to engage her in that discussion was to write a song about it. My creativity was piqued in a new way and so I started writing more songs. With the teacher’s and school’s permission, I would go into the kindergarten classroom and test the songs with the students, engage in conversations…..and it was there that I came up with the idea to use the songs as a musical soundtrack for a social and emotional curriculum…which became my Harmonize Kidz program. My mission is to shape a new generation into compassionate, empathetic and kind individuals.
The concert that I am doing in Newtown as a benefit for Sandy Hook came to be because I met a woman at the Westport Historical Society when I was chaperoning my daughter’s class field trip. I arrived plenty early, as did this docent. She introduced herself to me, we got to talking as we were waiting for the kids to arrive and she had a vision to put this concert together. The family and children’s concert will be on Saturday, May 19th in Newtown and all proceeds will go to Sandy Hook Promise; more info can be found here and here.
More about Stacie:
Stacie Morgain Lewis is an actor, singer and songwriter who has performed on Broadway for nearly a decade, most notably as Glinda in Wicked. She is a teacher, arts advocate, mom to two curious and creative daughters, co-writer of the children’s album Harmonize, and creator of the Harmonize Kidz arts enrichment program which uses her music to teach social and emotional learning to elementary students.
Stacie, who grew up in Monroe, CT and then spent 20 years living in NYC, just recently moved to Westport with her family. For Stacie, the journey of writing her album Harmonize started out with a question from her daughter, who was in kindergarten at the time. “Mom, what does it mean when someone says I DON’T CARE back to me?” Unsure of what she meant, Stacie asked her for more information, only to find out that her daughter had shared some really personal exciting news with a friend and classmate, and the response she got back was ‘I don’t care.’
Drawing from her background as a performer, Stacie decided to tackle this issue from every angle she knew how…she role-played, drew pictures and played puppets all around the scenario, and ultimately ended up writing a song for her daughter.
Unbeknownst to Stacie, her husband told the kindergarten teacher about the song…..and that is how it all began.
The teacher invited Stacie into the classroom to not only teach the children the melody and lyrics, but to discuss the topic at hand. After the lesson, the teacher began sharing with Stacie other issues and topics that she was seeing in her kindergarten classroom…and Stacie ran with the idea. Four months later, she had an album’s worth of music. However, in that moment, Stacie recognized that she was more interested in seeing how the children responded and learned from the music, so she put her focus on building a curriculum first rather than recording the album. For the next 4-6 months, she dedicated her free time to integrating the songs into a social and emotional curriculum that would shape a new generation into compassionate, empathetic and kind individuals. She was invited to pilot the program in the school and by the end of that year was hired.
Four years later, Stacie is continuing to teach her curriculum, now at many more schools. Her album, Harmonize, is complete and available on iTunes and Amazon Music.