I sat in the dark, in the mist and I listened.
To tales of motherhood.
To the heartache, to the loss, to the joy, to the triumph.
I listened as each women, each friend, stood in front of us baring their souls, sharing their hearts.
It was the very beginning of my friend Ann Imig’s dream to give mothers a voice. It happened in the hills of Ojai, California in October, 2010. A group of women Ann had invited to share their words at the close of an intimate gathering. Words written, tales scripted, as many defined how motherhood has shaped them, how it continues to do so, how their own mother’s fingers still tickle their spine with both inspiration and criticism.
I sat and listened…a captive, and weeping member of the audience of what was truly the ‘soft run’ for what eventually be known as the nationwide tour:
Ann’s goal then and her goal now has always been to give Mother’s Day a microphone…. a great big beautiful microphone that allows mothers from cities all across the country to stand on a stage and share their own words – their own thoughts about motherhood.
On that October evening, I bore witness to the beginning, but will confess to being too afraid to add my voice, my writing, to this extraordinary collection of women. Similarly, I sat, alternately wiping tears and stifling belly laughs at a Listen To Your Mother reunion this past Fall…. again, rooted to the audience, still unwilling to put my writing under the motherhood microscope.
I was content to listen.
But tomorrow, nearly two and a half years after Ann first shared her vision – I am adding my voice to the mix. I smile as I type this. Like that first time, I have sat in an audience, enraptured by the stories these women will share. I have listened. They are extraordinary. But this time, one thing will be different: my name will be called as well. And it will be right.
St. Louis is one of 24 cities around the country proudly hosting Listen To Your Mother. All shows are held sometime close to Mother’s Day…. since, as Ann believes, ( said in this NBC Nightly News segment) this day ‘deserves more than brunch’. If you don’t already have your tickets for the show – we have just a few left – and there are two shows… one in the morning at 10am and one in the afternoon at 2pm!
I’ll be looking for you.