Every year my kids ask me, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” Some of my answers, like “Draw me a picture or write me a story,” have, over the years, elicited far more exhaling and eye rolling than works of art. Others, like “Peace – in my world, my home, and my heart,” seem insurmountably Hippy-Mama to them. And some don’t strike them as presents at all: “A day together.” They want to find the answer at Macy’s or Fred Meyer and put it a box and tie it up with a big red bow. I can never think of things that fit in a box.
But those are the things we really want, aren’t they, Moms? We want a moment of calm, a hug, an acknowledgement that the people in our lives – the ones we try and try and try for every day – can see that we are doing the best we can. We hunger for that feeling of embrace, when we know that we are loved and appreciated, just the way we are.
This year, that is exactly what I am getting for Mother’s Day. And if you are looking for something meaningful to give to your mother (or yourself) this is where you can find it too.
A few months ago, I took an enormous step outside my comfort zone. I auditioned. In front of People. With a piece of my own writing. As a writer, I’ve submitted more pieces than I can remember – many accepted, many rejected. But either way, it has always been a profoundly personal experience. No spectators.
Audition. That is very different. It’s one of the scariest words in the English language. Just tossing the word around my brain makes my heart race. Couple it with the thought of baring my soul publicly, and my reaction is something akin to that of watching a midnight showing of Psycho while taking a shower in an abandon hotel.
But something about the Listen to Your Mother Show called to me. So I took the Leap.
And landed amongst this most amazing group of women.Our stories are as diverse as the lives we have led, and yet we share a common bond. We are Mothers. We get one another. Next Sunday – Mother’s Day – each of us in turn will walk out onto the stage of the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland and open her heart. Our show, composed of myriad Motherly topics, is (as director Carisa Miller describes it) not all “Unicorns farting rainbows.” It is about Real Mom stuff. The good stuff. The hard stuff. The impossible stuff. It is about empathy, patience, fear, kindness, selfishness, humor, creativity, strength, anger, resilience, heartbreak, love, frustration and joy – and everything else that makes us Moms.
So, what am I getting this year for Mother’s Day? I am getting my family, front and center, cheering me on. I can’t think of a more perfect Mother’s Day gift than that.