I love my job. I love the interactions with the many writers and readers who e-mail me every day. I love the words and the editing and the thinking about the words and the edits.
But what I love the most is what people have to say. Someone asked me recently how many of the pitches I get from writers each day are “actually good.” I scoffed. “Most of them.” And even though I spend my entire workday reading about mothers, fathers and their children, I go home and do it again after the kids are asleep. I keep reading. I love it all.
And that is why I love Listen to Your Mother, the stage show that features women and men reading (performing) a piece they wrote about mothering.
That sounded like an infomercial. I know.
I love that Ann Imig, the creator of LTYM (as those in the know call it), is a writer/blogger herself. I love that this woman turned LTYM into a nationwide “movement” and it’s growing. I love that many of the writers at On Parenting have also been a part of LTYM. I love that these women and men put themselves out there. That not only do they write, but they GET UP ON STAGE AND READ THEIR STUFF. With feeling.
I love almost any outlet that gives a parent, writer, mother, father a place to say it. Whatever their “it” may be. And so with that: Check out LTYM. Be an audience member. Strive to be an on-stager. Everyone has something to say. Trust me.
Listen to Your Mother will be held in 39 cities this year, including in the D.C. area at National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium on May 3. There will be 13 cast members who will read from their writings about motherhood. Tickets are $18, and a portion of the proceeds go to My Sister’s Place.
For a taste of what’s to come, here’s an essay performed by area mom/writer/photographer Stephanie Dulli:
Every once in a while, we as parents get to watch our child’s dream come true.
Little League (T-ball actually, but don’t tell my now-5-year-old son Max that) has been all we’ve talked about in our house for almost two years while he waited not-so-patiently to be old enough to play. While he waited, he scoured instructional videos on YouTube, he studied Bryce Harper, he watched Nationals games on TV, went to the batting cage with Daddy, and he practiced, practiced, practiced — asking me almost every day, “Is it time for my Little League?”
Finally last spring I was able to say, “Yes, baby, it’s Little League time!” He would play and his father would coach. It was going to be, in the words of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,”epic.” He took to the field like a champ and he didn’t suffer anyone on his team not taking it seriously.
The second game of the season I caught him talking smack to the kid who was on base while he was playing third. “Max!” I hissed from the sidelines. “No, it’s okay” said the other team’s coach. “Smack talk is totally allowed.” Apparently so is spitting. Thanks, Coach. We now have on-field rules in play for spitting, scratching and smack talk.
He loves baseball, he loves Little League. Every morning he asks, “Is today my game?” and I love nothing more than being able to say “It’s game day!” Then there was a week where it rained every day, canceling both Monday and Wednesday’s games. Max was heartbroken.
Coach Daddy made it up to him by letting him play pitcher in the first inning of Saturday’s slightly muddy game. Pitcher is where the action is, even in T-ball. Especially if you wind up and pretend to pitch whenever someone is up to bat. Never miss a chance to practice your pitching form is the motto of the Max.
The batter hit it straight to him, and as he lowered his glove to field the ball, it bounced up and slammed into his mouth. Hard.
I am not sure how I got on the field. I think I may have actually may have blacked out. One moment I was behind the fence with the other parents, and the next my feet were crunching the dirt of pitcher’s mound. Coach Daddy and Assistant Coach Grandpa had already gotten to him, his face red, eyes welling with tears, his baseball glove covering his mouth as I reached him.
I was expecting sun warmed chubby arms to wrap around me, letting me carry him to the dugout and kiss him from head to toe, making it all better in the way that only mommies can. He was nodding to the coaches “I’m okay. I’m okay.” Fighting tears as he reassured them. Then, finally, he saw me and he gave me a look. A look that if he had the words clearly said, “What. the. eff. are you doing here?” Then moving his glove from his mouth he said outraged “GET OFF THE FIELD!”
So I did.
I made my way back to the stands as the parents worriedly asked me how he was and what he said to me, then laughing when I told them. Max meanwhile went right back to playing ball, playing his heart out. I could tell he was hurting — he protected his mouth the rest of the game — but he kept on playing. I was so proud of him. After the game the opposing coach led his team in a cheer for Max, telling me, “That kid, that kid is a baller!” and he is.
Later that night he let me snuggle him and kiss him from head to toe, and make sure he was all right.
But like spitting is forbidden at home; snuggling is forbidden at baseball.
Yup. Sometimes they want just want their mommy. And sometimes they just want you to get the hell off the field.
To read some of the writers I love reading and editing, check out On Parenting at washingtonpost.com/onparenting. Join us on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter to have it all delivered right to you.
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