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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Listen to your mother. Yes, you.

Sometime after Christmas break ended and before Valentine's Day -- it all runs together in my head these days -- I submitted a piece of writing to "Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis." LTYM is a national event taking place in almost two dozen cities. At each location, people -- mostly women, some men, mostly mothers, some sons and daughters -- will present live readings related to the topic of motherhood. As the LTYM people say, "giving Mother's Day a microphone."

Feeling the need to get back in touch with my funny bone, I submitted a variation on a previous blog post. It's amazing what you can do with something given a little time, distance, perspective, editing and minimum length of 4 spoken minutes.

Anyway, I got an audition. I expected the waiting area to be filled with the usual (and wonderful) fare of Indiana women bloggers, people I am quite familiar with. Surprisingly, I didn't know any of the women sitting there with me, though I did recognize the names of some people who'd been there earlier when I glanced at the sign-in list. Even more surprisingly, not every woman in the waiting room had a blog. You mean there are people out there, living their lives blogless? Shocking. But I digress.

The audition was pretty simple. Stand in front of the two directors and read my piece. One of them laughed. The other kind of smiled. And that was it. It took longer to drive to the audition than it did to actually audition.

Several days later, I received an e-mail welcoming me to the inaugural cast of "Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis."

I was happy. I am happy. But I am also panicked. I have a little more than two months to lose 700 pounds, get my hair (now in that awkward growing out phase) to behave itself, and find something to wear that does not look too matronly (ironically), too off-the-clearance-rack, too tight or too-oh-my-Gawd-mom-you-can't-possibly-wear-that. Too bad I gave away my fat dress; I'm probably too fat for it anyway.

Regardless of what I wear, it's going to be a great event. If you're local, treat yourself to a ticket and join us:
Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis
Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:00pm
at the Indiana Historical Society

Buy your tickets online. 10% of the proceeds will go to Partners in Housing.

If you're not in or near Indy, see if there is a LTYM show near you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Double digits

Today is kind of a big deal at our house, not just because it is both Annie's and Robbie's birthdays. Not just because it's Annie's Sweet 16. Not just because today is Robbie's 10th birthday. But because,  as of 9:51pm tonight, all of my kids will be in double digits.

For some reason, this milestone has caused me to be a little weepy today. I'm not sad that they are getting older. That's what my job as their mom is, right? To raise them to be independent, contributing members of society. Rather, I'm a bit teary-eyed because I am so proud of who they are as people. And not just my birthday kids, but Charlie too.


Annie is funny and dutiful and caring. She is the one other kids turn to when they need an ear to vent to or a shoulder to cry on.

Charlie is my roll with the punches kind of kid. He doesn't know a stranger and is comfortable in almost any situation. He's my tough guy athlete with a sensitive soul.

Robbie. Oh, Robbie. Robbie is the one who keeps me up at night, who I worry about most of all, maybe because he is my baby. But he is goofy and resilient and shows me every day that there is more than one definition of success.

Way back when my life revolved around sippy cups and diaper bags, preschool Valentine parties and mother's day out, I could not have imagined this day of double digits. I'm glad for that. I'm sure my imaginings would have been far off base.

16. 13. 10. All of them, double digits. Thank you, God.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not exactly...

I've been asked to help in the Special Religious Education class (SPRED) at our church. It's Sunday School for children who have autism, Down Syndrome and other special needs. Currently, the group is made up of 6-10 boys whose ages range from 6 to 17.

We spend a long time in gathering and quieting activities, helping each student choose an activity that will bring them to a calm disposition. Today, I did chalk drawings, looked at book of Biblical paintings and examined smooth rocks with one little boy who doesn't speak but who has a smile worth waiting for. 

After the calming activities, we gather in a prayer circle to listen to the message for the day. Sometimes it is a short story. Other times it is just a talk about a particular topic. The prayer circle concludes with one message that is passed from student to student to helper. 

Today's message was: "Jesus said, 'Find peace in Me.'" 

Ms. Kathy took the hands of one of our friends, smiled and said, "Find peace in Me." With a little coaxing, he turned to the helper next to him (Ms. Kristen) and said the same. Ms. Kristen turned to Adam, who was sitting next to me, looked him in the eye, smiled and said "Adam, 'Find peace in Me.'"

Adam turned to me, plopped his fists in my open, waiting hands and said, "Do you want a piece of me?"

I suppose, in some sense, that's what Jesus meant too.