Family Chatter: Moms Take The Mic at Live Mother's Day Show
I vividly remember sitting in my OB/GYN’s office, heavily pregnant with my second child. He was due just 18 months after my first, and already well on his way to his 10 pound 8 ounce birth weight. I recounted my long list of aches and pains, and then paused, trying to understand the grin on my doctor’s face. It didn’t look exactly sympathetic.
“What?” I said. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong with me?”
“Absolutely,” he replied. “It’s called ‘Oh my God, I’m pregnant AGAIN.’ You are aware of how this happens, right?”
I’m a parent now to 3 teenagers (a girl and two boys) and I still hear his words in my head. Every mother I know has experienced the confusion of seeing their starry-eyed vision of the future give way to one question: “What exactly have I gotten myself into?”
By last spring, the child in that story had turned 14 and grown taller than me. I was trying to decide whether enough time had passed to tell a story involving that same OB/GYN and a highly embarrassing encounter with a diaphragm.
You see, I had heard about this thing called Listen To Your Mother, a series of live-reading shows celebrating motherhood held all over the country. In addition to places like NYC and Chicago, there was a show in northwest Arkansas. I knew I wanted to be a part. People write stories and read them: women and men, mothers and non-mothers, professional writers and amateurs. There are auditions, the stage show, and then videos of each performance that live forever on YouTube.
Finally I realized this was it, that if I was going to audition for LTYM, that it was going to be with a story that cracks me up to this day. And that’s how my diaphragm ended up on YouTube. The moment I realized that I might be best known on the Internet for a mortifying story about birth control felt…well…familiar. I could almost hear my doctor’s voice saying “You are aware of how this happens, right?”
Aware or not, I plowed ahead, and my experience with Listen To Your Mother ended up being so good that I gathered up some friends (Kerri Jackson Case, Donna Hall, and Kyran Pittman) and we applied to bring LTYM right here to Little Rock. It’s been an exciting process, but there have been many moments where we have asked, “What have we gotten ourselves into?”
We have a fantastic cast and just like other LTYM casts around the country, they will tell stories that range from hilarious to heartbreaking. And just like every other LTYM cast, they will almost certainly ask at some point, “What have I gotten myself into?”
And then we will all remember that telling stories about motherhood is a lot like motherhood itself. We don’t know what we’ve gotten ourselves into. We see that bright future and we reach for it. Yes, we are aware of how this happens, but we can’t be aware of everything else that will take place along the way. And even when things don’t go exactly how we planned, at least it’ll make a great story later on.
Listen To Your Mother makes its first ever Little Rock appearance on Mother’s Day, May 11, at 3 p.m. at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre—and it’s the perfect way to spend the day. Go with your mother, your daughter, your whole family, or your friends. Tickets are available by calling The Rep’s box office at 378-0405 or at www.TheRep.org.