Listen to Your Mother/San Francisco Notes from a Rehearsal

Admittedly, I was a bit distracted. Rehearsal at 7:30; found at 4:30 I was solo with 2 kids for the evening and a rehearsal. Here’s where having nicely disciplined children comes in handy. I looked at them when I found out I was solo. Well guys–bring homework to finish and I promise I’ll stop at Pizza Orgasmica on Fillmore on the way back to the hotel. That bought me more good behavior.

Rehearsal. I love podiums. Podiums are the next best thing after a giant mane of hair to hide behind.  There’s a slightly different order of readers this time around but I think it works out better. I like the new order. I listen intently to the first readers before me. I glance at the kids in the back of the Gatehouse building when I hear a few rustles of life in the back. My daughter is asking her brother about great than and less than. She catches my ‘shhhhh’ eye.

But the other moms and Andre are graciously sympathetic to my plight of nowhere to stash the kids. We’ve all been there with our single and/or childfree friends. Moms have to soldier through. Single friends can have emotional crises, not so parents who have to deal regardless of their emotional and time management challenged state. And one in particular–Rhea–offers to take my daughter for a walk when it is my turn to read when I get up to the podium and beg for help. My story, you see, has a good chunk of my daughter in it and not only do I know that she will bellow from the back “That’s not how it happened , MOM!” but she’ll more than likely be pissed off at me for another day or so. Rhea takes her for a walk around Ft. Mason and I do my reading.

I’m a little distracted after. But my secret favorite piece is the next one up. It’s about not being able to breastfeed —which wasn’t ever an issue for me. I had the opposite–living in red state territory and breastfeeding was a no -no and I imagine the opposite is true in coastal California. But it’s also her imagery, her choice of words, the quiver in her voice still that gets to me. Beautiful. I was an obnoxious breastfeeder and Melissa so pointedly reveals the anguish of not being able to. I haven’t told her how much I like her piece yet.

The rest of rehearsal is a blur for me but I stopped worrying about the kids. Turns out the kids are really digging the readings. The kids like the show. They are laughing at the right times. They are sad at hearing that Joy’s mother died when she was young. They want to hear Andre again and again. 

In the car on the way back from rehearsal, after the pizza, and on the way down some very steep hills (Wee! says my daughter! I could go up and down San Francisco hills all day. My favorite ride) I take stock in the day we had, and their great behavior. And I’m not bugged at all that I had to take them with me.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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