So it’s been a crammed weekend. Like I do it any other way, right?
What with the tornadic activity all across my state and into others, what with the impending deadlines for papers at school and work yet written, what with the first read through of the Listen To Your Mother Show, and meeting the group of mothers involved, what with being the only non-mother (which was succinctly added to my intro by another), what with living outside the radius of all the activity and goings on with the show, what with feeling desperately awkward and soooooo like the outsider in the company of these talented women…
to borrow from my mother and her mother before that…
My nerves are fucking shot.
Even the cocktail of horse tranqs and night night juice that my mother gave me before bed didn’t help the sleeping. I kept waking up to check the radar and make sure my tribe hadn’t been blown to bits. I couldn’t get comfortable. I worked on papers or sang some lines from Spring Awakening on loop. I kept playing the read through over and over. Was I defensive? I’m usually good at meeting new people and it seemed just so…stilted. Was it just me or was there that imperceptible shift in the room when my womb activity was announced? Why am I even IN this damned thing anyway???
Kizz told me in no uncertain terms:
Whether or not that shift was real or made up in my scaredy-ass-no-one-will-like-me-mind…THAT is exactly why your story is valid. THAT is why it should be heard.
I’m not the only one marching in this army.
Mothering isn’t exclusive to shoving a body out of your whoo-ha.
I am in awe and immensely grateful to the women in my life who have done it, this raising children thing. I see some of them do it well. I see some of them do it not so great. I look for those women who light up when they see their children. I see the one’s who don’t.
The thing is…maybe my heart will never measure up to loving at the capacity as someone who has birthed, or adopted or raised a family. But I dare any one of them to tell me to my face that I don’t love as much or more because of it. Seriously. I dare you. Try me. I’ve been watching Sons of Anarchy. You decide.
Mothers are everywhere. Every shape. Every color. Every size. Every different name. Friend. Aunt. Teacher. Nurse. Step. Ex-Step. Not ever really a step but considered that anyway. We all love on that scale. We all give on that level.
Those stories are all valid. Those hearts are valid. That love counts.
Isn’t that what we all feel?
Fierce, thick love.
because as Sethe* says, “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”
It’s going to be an amazing show, this Listen To Your Mother gig. The stories are funny and irreverent and moving and heart stomping holy shit I can’t listen to one more word it’s so good—good. I am refreshed with the new day, sitting on this deck looking at the trees listening to the rain. I’m excited and just so honored to get to share the stage with these stories. My insecurities are mine, and seriously when your 4 year old nephew doesn’t tell you goodbye, but instead looks up and says in his most heartfelt and sure voice, “may the force be with you…”
do you really need more affirmation that that?
*I'm still in my Beloved phase.