Last night in dance class, as I spun off the unwelcome surprises in my early morning and shook my way into my awesome evening, I had the thought that perhaps all the difficult times that I’ve been going through have been so that I could come out the other side changed, with a life that was unrecognizable to me but so much better than I could have dreamed up on my own. I thought, “Maybe I’m the Comeback Kid.”
The reason I was feeling this way was more than the beautiful weather we have been experiencing in San Francisco, which allowed me to just take off Olive’s pants and dress yesterday at the park when she got them muddy, and let her run around in a onesie and her moon boots, her brown little legs shining in the sun. A couple of things have combined recently to make me feel like hope is more than wishing on a star, it’s a real state that one can live in, making a home there for awhile, like a precarious but boldly set nest in a eucalyptus tree.
This is what I’m really excited to tell you about today: a few months ago, my good friend Giselle told me about Listen To Your Mother, a nationwide show that is coming to San Francisco for the first time, in which parents read their original pieces in front of a live audience, cheering one another on on this crazy journey called parenting. They were calling for submissions, so I went through all my blog posts and chose one I felt was the most dramatic to send in. I was overjoyed that they liked it enough to call me in for an audition, and two weeks ago I stood in front of the two kind and welcoming directors of the show, my hands shaking but my voice unwavering, as I read my piece for them.
After that came 12 days of waiting, in which I was sure that I had not been cast. I kept reading their posts about all the auditions they were doing, and couldn’t imagine myself making the cut. They were only choosing 12 people out of everyone who read, after all. Just yesterday morning I searched my heart while in the shower (the only time I really have to think), “How much do I want this? Would it really matter if I didn’t get in? Wasn’t it a good experience just to audition?” And I realized, it would mean so, so much to me to make it in. My blog is nearly a year old, and this would be the first time I got into a performance based on the strength of my writing alone. I also find the concept of the show really empowering, and wanted a chance to work with the other parent-writers to create an experience for the audience that is validating of the work I do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Well, I got the email yesterday welcoming me to the cast of the 1st San Francisco edition of Listen To Your Mother, and I was ecstatic. I am glad I did that personal inventory of how much it would really mean to me to get in — it made the inward celebration that much more sweet. Through a strange set of events, I got the chance to go out with my writing group friends last night, and they were so supportive and excited for me. We went to see Mortified, the laugh-so-hard-your-face-hurts show in which people read from their real childhood & adolescent diaries, in front of a packed crowd of total strangers. As I laughed with them, I pictured myself on stage on May 10th at the Cowell Theater, sharing my own life experience of raising Olive. I may not make the audience spit out their whiskey sour at the audacity of my childhood self, but the experience of sharing my story will be a powerful one. I hope you’ll come and see the show: soon I’ll give you the link for where to buy tickets — 10% of proceeds go to the awesome 826 Valencia. It’s the Thursday before Mother’s Day, so bring your favorite Mama!