I hear a car pull up the driveway, and soon the kitchen door slams. A familiar voice calls out to me.
Daughter: Mom, listen to this.
Me: (deep breath as I swivel around in my chair) Tell me.
There are three things I know when it comes to my daughter:
1. Never take my bra off - she hosts guests without prior warning.
2. Always have cash - there is usually an immediate, dire need.
3. When she says "listen to this", be ready for anything.
Sometimes, what she asks me to listen to is how she got a good grade on a test she thought she'd bombed, or the latest shade on Instagram. Many times, however, it is bigger, heavier stuff, so I have to
be on my toes.
Listening is easy. Hearing is much harder.
When my daughter talks to me, sometimes she is drowned out by the dialogue going on inside my head, "We need to get a tutor ... she can never speak to that person again ... I'm calling the doctor ..."
I have to constantly remind myself to really listen - to receive the information before I notify the authorities and the local news.
There is a proper way to listen to a person, to hear their words and find a way to connect, appreciate, and communicate back. And I had the most profound opportunity to listen with that type of purposeful intent this afternoon.
It was my first rehearsal for Listen To Your Mother, a show where 13 women from all walks of life will take the stage and open a brief window into their world. I got glimpse of that world today --- and the energy, the emotion, and the pureness of our time together deeply affected me. Of the seven readings given, all I can say is this - I heard you. I heard the deep, expansive, deafening cry of women as single mothers, adoptive mothers, daughters and aunts. I heard the struggle of women trying to connect with mothers long passed, or mothers whose choices were a mystery until we were old enough to understand. I heard the pain of raising children in a world that can be volatile and cruel. And, I heard the joy of memories that comfort us on tough days.
And that was just part of the group. I read last, and let me tell you, I was completely intimidated, but at the same time, honored to share the same energy with these beautiful women, and for them to hear my words.
Listen. Let someone hear you. We all have a really good story to tell.
Until next time, keep crowin'!