I am auditioning for the Nashville Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) show and until this morning I didn't really know why. I just saw the post and signed up. I have never done anything like this. Since not making the high school cheerleading team, I haven't been one to want to put myself in front of people to be judged. But when I saw the ad I knew that I had to sign up. So I did.
I wasn't sure what I would share. I thought about a lot of things I could write about like the time I was sitting and reading when I heard my then 3 1/2 year old son say " darn it, darn it darn it." When I told him that maybe we could use different words when we are frustrated he simply said "ok, mom, I'll just say fuck it." Or, I could write about how I am a slow learner as evidenced by how a few years later my 4 year old daughter looks at me and says "I know that we shouldn't say the words hate, stupid or fock it" - yes "fock it" with a "o." (Don't worry, we will be getting her hearing checked soon. We wouldn't want her to grow up being made fun of for not saying the "f" word correctly.)
I could also write and share about when my daughter went into the hospital and the doctors thought she had a brain infection and that she may not be going home with us. Or about how my son a few short years previous had gone into that same hospital with temporary paralysis and the doctors also thought he might not make it home. Thankfully they both did.
I could write and share about how I wish my sister and I were closer growing up and how I am thankful that both of us being mothers has brought us slowly into more of a sisterly relationship that I see other siblings share.
I could write about my own mom and how she was right when years ago she looked at my sister and me and told us that one day we would need therapy and that she would be happy to pay for it because she figured she was the one that caused the need for us to get that sort of help.
My husband told me to go with humor, but I don't have a lot of funny things to write about other than my children saying fuck or fock it. Most of the time I'm the one saying it and it's not usually, or ever very funny.
I could also write about how I am doing this so that my kids would not be afraid to one day put themselves out there, but that is not why I'm doing this. They don't have a clue that I'm doing anything today other than what I might normally be doing on a Saturday.
So why am I doing this? To me it's like when I was a child and the feeling of anticipation during the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are memories I have of some random beautifully wrapped gift under the tree. I would hope and dream that the gift would be for me. However, I wouldn't know until Christmas day because my parents would purposely leave our names off of the gift so we wouldn't try and guess what was on the inside. Yet it didn't matter what might be on the inside. I always knew that I wanted it. And when Christmas day would come I would wait and hope. And on some Christmases that unmarked gift would be mine and the excitement and joy I would feel would last for a long time. On other Christmases, it would be for my sister and I would feel a tinge of disappointment and sadness. Yet I would quickly move into that excitement one feels when sharing in the joy of others. The thing about those Christmases and today's audition is this: I have to show up if I want to know if that gift is for me or for someone else. If I don't show, it's guaranteed that the gift, even if it were meant for me, will not be mine. And just like when I was a kid, I so hope the gift is for me, but if it isn't I will still have the opportunity to experience joy and excitement. Who doesn't want to experience that?
As for what I'll share today with the panel of judges, it's something I've shared before. This time I actually have to say the words out loud and see people's reactions. The making it or not making it part isn't the daunting part. It's the revealing a part of myself and the not being able to hide behind a computer screen that makes this experience a bit scary. And although I'm not doing this because I think my children need to see me putting myself out there, if I've learned anything from the "fuck it" experiences with them, they watch and listen closely. If they see me feel and express gratitude for an opportunity, my hope is that maybe they will follow suit. If they see me experience sadness and disappointment while still being able to experience the sharing of joy, my hope is that one day they can do the same. And one day when they see a gift with no name on it, my hope for them is that they will show up for Christmas knowing that the gift may or may not be for them, but they show up anyway.
This show is about motherhood. I don't know what I'm doing half the time, but if I've learned anything from all of that therapy my mom has been paying for it is this: stop trying to be a mother and start showing up at Christmas. So here I go.
* Originally posted on March 5, 2016 at notsosupermomjq.blogspot.com