In 10 days I’ll be directing my first show.
I’ve done a bunch of stuff where I was in charge so it’s not that that’s freaking me out or causing me pause. I’ll get through it. I’ll have a giant check list. I’ll nag, I mean, remind, and delegate authority and try not to freakout that little things I wanted didn’t happen.
I mean, shoot, I ran for statewide office once (you can Google; I’m not going to lead you there) , I’ve organized state wide meetings. and my first wedding had 500 people so I GET this.
What I’m marveling at is the connectedness (no really, I’m not being hokey) of it all.
Listen to Your Mother Show in San Francisco Show 2012 was kind of a fluke. I was in my office working on other stuff, up pops Lela Davidson who says hey, is San Francisco near you? They’re doing this show…oh and the deadline is tomorrow. I sit there for a moment huddled under a blanket in my office—a hundred plus year old building that shows its drippy age every winter –and think it’s too cold to think about motherhood. She’s read my work when she was an editor on Parenting Squad. She says you should submit something you did there, but funnier. Lela, after all, is the queen of motherhood funniness.
So I looked over a post I’d done on my moms getting married and my daughter’s reaction to it. That was it. I’d rework that and submit it. Submitted. Wait for rejection.
But they didn’t reject it. They took it and thus far that little essay has wracked up nearly 20K hits on youtube. But that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m looking back and seeing the great women (and men) I met in San Francisco. For the thinking woman, mothering can be a lonely place filled with people who like to go to Babies R Us for fun instead of recognizing it to be a nightmare. American Motherhood is lonely and filled with judgment.
You do what you think is best, only to find out you did something shitty. Anyone else stick their kids in front of Baby Mozart? Send them to school with mix matched socks? Encourage them to play with your friends’ kid only to find out that kid is a monster? Ban stuff from the house for no other reason than you hate it? Why can’t we watch Cars 2, mommy– too violent? No, because the script sucks.
So I met these other women and man and we all had something to say about it all. And from them I met others. And before I even knew I’d be directing a show, I’d published more things in more places than just here at Tales of Sierra Madre. I got turned on to new sites and to women doing cool things. And I might live in my little red corner of blue state California and feel isolated and alienated, but I have a whole Internet sisterhood watching my back.
I just submitted a story to a journal I would haven’t thought to send to and it was accepted (yay, thanks Rhea). That keeps happening. I keep meeting people. I keep having my voice. It keeps getting louder. I can walk around this hamlet mountain town with a whole cacophony of brilliant dissonants in my head. The voice of you, sisters, and the voice of me.
There is strength in numbers.
On May 15th, I’ll be directing my first Listen to Your Mother show. I enlisted the help of 12 cast members to share their voices. There’s some scary messed up stuff in those stories and some sheer brilliance and some funny realizations and some perfect moments. Before casting the show, I didn’t know that all these voices right around me existed–and that’s something else for me to be thankful for—-that through the Internet vast and wide, I became closer to the voices around me–the ones literally down the street from me.
Every day someone invariably says something bad about the Internet or phone addictions or some such thing, lamenting the simpler times when we remained distance and unknowing of each others anxieties, existences, and foibles in such an intimate manner. But the Internet and I have grown up together—my motherhood is the Internet–who else was getting up with me at 4 am to feed babies?
So I guess I’m saying thank you. Thank you, mommy bloggers. Thank you, Brain, Child magazine, and Hip Mama, and Girl Body Pride and all the other mama places I’ve found online that brought me back to my own town, my own house, my own room.
And thank you, Ann Imig, and Listen to Your Mother Show for providing this unique connection across a country usually so divided–a motherland for us all. And thank you Ariel Gore for providing the inspiration and ear.