I saw the call out for auditions somewhere on Facebook. My desire to tell a story took over and I emailed for a spot. I didn’t tell anyone I was auditioning. If I didn’t get chosen, I couldn’t tell anyone of the rejections. After all, I am not a mom. Who was I too tell Baton Rouge what I know of motherhood? I got the email less than a week later, I had been chosen to read in that show. I was excited, but I don’t think the full extent of what I was participating in had hit me yet. It did on March 21st.
It was a rough day March 21st. I woke up feeling clammy, but today was the day I got to meet 12 other women I got to speak next to in the Baton Rouge Listen To Your Mother production and there were pictures to be taken which meant I had to fix my hair. My hair that hadn’t been washed in 4 days. Dry shampoo wasn’t going to cut it. So I washed and I blow-dryed and I laid my 21 week pregnant exhausted body under my full blast ceiling fan. I couldn’t cool off. I kept moving. I put on the only outfit that I felt like made me look pregnant as opposed to eating too many cheeseburgers. I headed out the door. First stop brunch.
As I sat through brunch I could feel my belly rumbling. I hadn’t been sick all pregnancy. Could this late onset morning sickness? I ate my food and my friend and I left. Next stop rehearsals, except….half a block down I just looked at my friend with a face of desperation and asked her to pull over. My cute outfit, my washed hair was now covered in my brunch. I will spare you the other details. I was heartbroken, these moms were going to meet me in my second choice outfit, with remnants of my own brunch in my hair. I looked in the mirror to see mascara running down my face. No more lipstick to be had. My hair…oh my hair, but I drove downtown. I already didn’t feel like I belonged, but now, A SECOND CHOICE OUTFIT (a second choice outfit at a very swollen 21 weeks is not acceptable in my hormonal brain). Then I sat at a table with 12 other women, 12 other moms.
Among the initial thoughts of, “Oh my goodness, do I belong here?” There was also a sense of belonging. I moved to Baton Rouge a year and a half ago and never really felt I found a place. At that table I had my place, it was labeled with my name on it. There was my place at a table of moms. As the introductions went around, I felt the rumble coming again, but I couldn’t leave. These women read their pieces and my heart grew three sizes. Each story I found myself holding on to each and every word, cherishing them. These words were tiny piece of these mothers’ heart and as each story was read, I realized something. This wasn’t just a show about motherhood. This was a show about being a wife. Being a daughter. Being a child. This was a show of gratitude and hope. This was a show of celebration and choosing joy. This was a show that my quasi “not a mother” self found her place in. This was a show for the feminist, the non-feminist. This was a show that summed up the personality of the south I had come to know and love perfectly. This was a show that allowed me to forget that my mascara was gone, my lipstick was lying along Jefferson Highway and my stomach turned with ferociousness that could only mean bad seafood from the night before. I belonged at this table, second choice outfit and all.
As I left that rehearsal, I couldn’t help but be prideful. I get to stand up on a stage on May third and tell Baton Rouge my story of motherhood and I get to do it with the camaraderie of 12 women I had never met before a fateful Saturday of food poisoning and new friendships. To say I am proud is an understatement. Maybe I am not technically a mom, but I do have a story to tell about motherhood, step-motherhood and having a mom. If I belonged at that table, I can assure you, you will find yourself belonging in that theatre as one by one, these ladies share their stories of life.
This is the first year that Listen to Your Mother is coming to Baton Rouge. I hope you will find yourself heading over here and getting a ticket to hear these stories on May 3, 2015 at 2pm. The show will take place at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge. The show will benefit Hope House. You can read all about the cast and sponsors on the Listen to Your Mother Baton Rouge website. You can purchase your ticket on Manship Theatre’s website or clicking here.
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