Parenting a tween means repeating yourself, often. It also means having a large amount of patience and excellent cheerleading skills. It seems that being my mother means you need that at all ages, not just the tween years. I'm lucky and grateful for all that my mom continues to do for me and, this week especially, I'm glad that I listen to my mother.
My mother suggested that I consider participating in Listen to Your Mother, a national series of live readings by local authors with tag line, "Giving Mother's Day a microphone." She'd heard of the show after reading some bloggers who have previously participated and thought it might be up my alley. I told her I wouldn't be good enough. She said I was wrong, and told me to think about it. I listened.
When I saw that the Listen to Your Mother producers in Chicago were accepting essays for this year's show, I heard my mom's voice in the back of my head. It was telling me (again) to consider it and repeating her advice of staying true to myself. I listened again, and I submitted a piece.
After I found out that my essay had been selected for an audition, I told my mom. She was happy for me and said she was unsurprised. I warned her not to expect much, I wasn't very good. She told me I was wrong. I love that she always believes in me, and that she does so extra much when I don't believe in myself. And then she said I should practice. And I listened.
Then I asked my mom for help. We live many states apart, and a phone chat was easiest. I called at an appointed time and then realized that essay was not where I thought it was on my computer. And I couldn't find it. I also couldn't find the email that I had sent. When I thought it was lost for good, I started to panic. (I am apparently very much in touch with my inner tween.) My mom stayed calm, told me to take a few deep breaths and assured me I would find it.
When I finally did locate the essay, I read it to her over the phone. And she was amazing, and kind, and helpful. I had a flashback to rehearsing for some very small bit of public speaking in junior high. She told me to speak more slowly, and enunciate. I badly needed to do both as a tween, as I talked like Six from the TV show "Blossom." I still badly need to work on both today. But I listened. And I tried to do it.
My mother knew what she was talking about all along, because I was thrilled to learn this week that I will be part of the Listen to Your Mother Chicago cast. I'm excited to share my words, I'm humbled to share a stage with the other amazing cast members at the Athenaeum Theatre on May 5, 2013 and I'm hoping I make my mother proud.
I hope she knows that I'm so grateful for her, for the nudge, for the support, for the advice and for the unconditional love. I hope she knows that I listen to my mother.
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