I believe that parents are occasionally in touch with our inner tween, the 8th grade version of ourselves. Tweens are trying new things and even new identities as they are very much figuring out who and what they want to be. That prospect of possibility is at once exciting and terrifying. And in the midst of all the new-ness, there's an intense desire to fit in.
I felt all those feeling at this first rehearsal for Listen to Your Mother, a show featuring "live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood, in celebration of Mother’s Day." Walking into the rehearsal space, I was fully in touch with my inner tween.
I felt nervous and excited, and tried to fight off feelings of self-doubt. I was eager to meet everyone, worried that somehow I wouldn't fit in with either the show and my fellow castmates, and unsure of just where this new journey would take me.
Just as parents promise their tweens when they try something new, it all went fine. In fact, it was better than fine. I was glad I had stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new, I really, really liked the incredible new friends I made and I was excited about the journey.
I still feel a bit tween-like, for better and worse, as I debate which outfit to wear for the big show on May 5th and worry that I'll the only one without a huge cheering squad, but also in how I'm invigorated at the idea of doing something I've never done before - read my writing in front of more than 900 people at the Athenaeum Theater. I was excited at the realization that I am a writer. The idea of "being a WRITER" isn't something on which I've focused. I'm a mom, there really isn't a lot of time for such ruminations. Writing my blog is something I just do, in between the laundry and the grocery shopping and homework help.
In that rehearsal, surrounded by amazing writers reading their words, I loved thinking of myself as a writer. It was just like a tween finding something he/she loves, discovering the comfort of an identity that fits.
While it is a little bit embarrassing to be tween-like, I'm also grateful to be in touch with my inner tween. I'm hoping that it will allow me to be compassionate and empathetic with my own tween all while reminding her that she really does have the ability to tone down the drama, to embrace change and try all kinds of fun new things.
If you'd like to come celebrate Mother's Day a week early on Sun., May 5 in Chicago with some great writers and their amazing stories about motherhood, get info on how to purchase your Listen to Your Mother Chicago tickets here. If you want more proof of how I'm in touch with my inner-tween, check out my cast feature here.
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