Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Motherhood: The HIghs And Lows of My Listen To Your Mother Audition

A soaring bird who suddenly breaks a wing. A sports car with its brake line cut.  An Olympian in first place until taking a spill 100 feet before the finish line. These kinds of highs and lows are like the ones felt by mamas all over the world every day, every hour, every minute.

Sometimes I think the Universe, even with his wisdom, has an infinite sense of humor--especially when it comes to mothers.

It's almost as if he or she wants to remind us that suffering or at least a bit of misery is part of our job description. These reminders (at least in my life) come usually right after a moment of pure adrenaline high--a jiffy pop bag of hot popcorny goodness at its epitome of height just before someone sticks a fork in the tin foil top.

Take today for instance, after a February vacation where I pretty much had to stay in because of a sick child with a sinus infection, coupled with about 6 months of an iffy car, I had looked forward to taking off in my new car for a weekend away in NYC where I would audition for the prestigious Listen To Your Mother show and have a little fun with most of my family who planned on accompanying me.

The weekend began on a high.  We enjoyed an afternoon at the Children's Museum. The weather was idyllic and we strolled the streets basking in the springlike temperatures. Later that evening we all had dinner together and I fell asleep that night thanking the universe for the cheery moments of that day and for the chance to audition for the NYC franchise of LTYM.

The next day, my 20 year old grabbed my credit card and sauntered off by himself down the stairs to take the subway to NYU all by himself to see a close friend.  I was a bit wistful remembering all the times I had taken both boys to NYC and had a death grip on both of their hands for fear of losing them.  Yet there he was...going off on his own...doing his own thing--just as I was.  Thinking of how far we’d come as a mama and son increased that feeling of joy and I practically skipped to the building where I’d read a story that I’d written hoping to be part of the NYC cast of LTYM.  

The auditions there were held in a daunting building for this small town gal, that housed performance spaces galore. Stepping out of the elevator I had to spin around a dancer warming up, circle a group of thespians practicing lines and scoot around a bunch of executive types discussing the progress of a particular production. Being in and among these artists made my blood course and surge a bit faster. My heart raced from the energy they emanated and from the anxiety that washed over me when I reached the room in which MY auditions would be held.

When it was my turn, I tried to amp up the joie de vivre that I was feeling and so I "small-towned" the panel of serious author/ directors that sat behind a formal table by approaching them and shaking all their hands. They seemed a tad surprised at my forwardness and so, I immediately mentally chastised myself and trudged through the awkwardness of the moment, but nothing was going to ruin my almost manic mood.  .

I began to read--my little story--made up of truths and wounds and emotions that are not usually exposed by mamas. And that's when it happened; an audible sob from one of the judges and another. Soon all four author/directors were crying, wiping their eyes with tissues, which in turn made me cry. Even though some of my tears came from the subject of my story, many came from the incredible realization that these directors and producers were crying over my story. MINE.  Crying over words that I put on paper.

As I finished, the weight of what I had done, what I accomplished in that moment came crashing down on me. My words, my carefully crafted words written and rewritten over and over moved four strangers to tears. My words reached out across a cold and empty performance space and connected me with a previously unknown group of humans making it so we were all one and in this motherhood thing together.  I did that. My writing did that, and I was sure in that moment that there was no better feeling than the satisfaction that the craft you love can really have an effect on someone else.   

Walking down 8th Ave. towards the Disney Store where I was to meet my hubby and daughter, I practically sauntered down the sidewalk.  Heck, I walked like the models on the catwalk advertised on the big screens in Times Square. Sashay. Sashay. Hip! Turn! Sashay sashay sashay! My confidence and giddiness was at 100% and I didn’t care who knew it.  I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.  I was flying.  Just flying.  

Yup...flying high…However, apparently the Universe thought that maybe I had had about enough of all this feel good stuff.  After all, a mother can’t forget that her FIRST place is well...mothering.  And so to rectify perhaps put balance in my life, he or she decided to have my four year old daughter throw up...strapped in a car seat...while sitting in a traffic jam...for an hour and a half…on the George Washington my brand new car...all over her car seat...and my hands...and new dress I was wearing.  

Of course, it wasn’t the mucusy kind...oh had to be the kind of puke that had curdled milk in it...and burgers and fries...and some half digested mac and cheese for good measure.  So in addition to the mess we had the smell...the horrible throw-uppy smell..while trapped in a car...not moving on the George Washington Bridge.

So I did what any mom would do at the moment.  Scream, “Oh great now I am going to get sick!”  (All right, I realized my mistake right away...and turned my attention to the throwing up daughter.) Then I proceeded to take her out of her car seat, (OK...don’t judge all you Safety Sarahs and Stevens out there.  What was I to do?? Have her continue to sit in her own vomit??) strip her down naked and scrub her body with as many baby wipes as I could find.  I used my pashmina (my favorite pashmina) as a makeshift toga dress for her royal naked highness, and sat her down next to me while I feebly tried to wipe up the bodily fluids that made my brand new auto upholstery look like a crime scene.  

So now?  Now I am home.  I have disinfected anything within the confines of the car, including myself, and EXCLUDING the car seat that sits on the front porch.  (That’s the hubby’s job. Wink Wink.)  

And Universe, if you’re listening...there is absolutely no happiness here. No high flying manic attitude.  Nope.  I am covered with pukey misery.   

What?  Nooooooo, I am NOT sashaying down the hall to my bedroom!  Not at all.  

POST SCRIPT--A few days later there was more sashaying and dancing and screaming and jumping up and down like a teenager at a concert because I had made the cast of NYC's Listen To Your Mother! I had made it!  

So dear Universe, bring it on...whatever you throw at me, I've got that moment and the others that will soon come during rehearsals and the show itself. I've got them, and they can't be erased. Like Wonder Woman's magical bullet-deflecting bracelets, The Listen To Your Mother Show has given me more weapons of happiness to wield against your evil pranks!  

If you'd like to see me or any of the other FABULOUS women (and man) check out the info below! I'd love to have your support!  


  1. I know that you won't believe me but we really REALLY don't feel serious when you come in. I do, though, feel genuinely lucky to hear every story. Fantastic!

    1. Kizz--anything besides my giddiness and nervousness seemed serious to me that day! I am sure that you were your happy sweet self. Just couldn't see it through my fear! Ha!