Moms are the Best Storytellers!!!

Hanging

Hanging © Lucila De Avila Castilho | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Welcome to May! The month for Moms, so that’s where I’ll park. Momhood is one of the things about being a woman I can relate to, being a mom myself.

I admit, though, I don’t really understand women. And, yes, I am a woman, but there are some things about women I just don’t get. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a particularly “girly” girl. Women are emotional. I tend to bypass emotion and go straight for logic and reason instead. (Well, most of the time). Emotions are best served in a nice package with a bow on it. I suppose that’s the poet in me.

Yesterday I attended Listen to Your Mother, an outlet for “giving motherhood a microphone.” It’s a series of live staged readings in 32 cities nationwide in celebration of Mother’s Day. I saw 15 wondrous Moms who took their emotions and made them things of beauty. They were like warrior women telling stories of their feats around a campfire. They were brutally honest, open and transparent about their lives.

One woman told the story of how she named her daughter, and of the circle of 11 women who attended the birth on the 11th day of the 11th month. Upon the baby’s delivery they each lovingly greeted her by name. We, the audience felt the love that baby was surrounded by; her name, a mantra.

Another spoke of wanting to be a mother so badly, only to be disappointed by not riding what she called “The Motherhood Coaster,” until hitting the mother-load with triplets! And we cheered with her. There, also was the woman who was not a biological mom, but she mentors girls who are like daughters. She spoke of one of her “girls’” struggle with hatred toward her mother. And this woman realized she, too, hated her mother for her “seeming” perfection. It took a lot of self-exploration to find a place of compassion and attach the words “I love you” to her mother. Her story hovered over us like a humming bird.

And then there was the woman who talked about of the power of “Thank you,” as handed down by her mother. How, from an early age, “Thank you” was like a beacon to make others smile. She told us how, even while in the act of dying, her mother had the presence of mind to show immense gratitude to the hospital staff that tended to her. And how she lost her son after her mother passed, and the light of “Thank you” left her. It was grief counseling that helped her get her “Thank you” back. And she stood there on stage in a lovely red dress, wearing a big, beautiful smile, and we could see “Thank you” leaping from her like a lioness – fearless, protective, with purpose.

These weren’t bedtime stories they told. These were lifetime stories (not to be confused with the cable television channel). Stories of sadness and triumphant, told with humor and from the gut, all in the same breath. And at the end of that storytelling session I was so proud to be a woman… a mom. I wanted to hug each woman and share how her story made me soar. Moms have such an effect on those around them.

A little over a decade ago, a friend had the first of her four children. One day I noticed how that baby responded to her mom’s voice and touch, and I imagined how the baby must have felt. And this poem was born:

Shelby’s Song (to Mommy)

Like a sea of

heavens

is my mommy’s voice

Glorious hosannas

and hallelujahs – amen

is my mommy’s voice

She touches the sky

wit her fingertips

and wipes my tears

with a cloud

She whispers in

the sunset

and dusts moon glow

over the ocean

floor

Mommy

is the lullaby

that sings life

into me

 

Listen to Your Mother continues around the country this month. It’s already been to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Northern Utah, and The OC . Visit the website and click a city on the map to show info from each local LTYM site. I hope it’s in a city near you. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.

So what’s your story about Moms? Are you one? Or are you a child of one?

 

© Andrea Daniel and Andrea Daniel Poet [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is to Andrea Daniel with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

8 Comments
  1. Her story hovered over us like a humming bird. Really lovely imagery. Nice poety, so glad attending the event inspires you. You’re an excellent story teller too

    • Thank you, Shannyn. I’m glad you liked it.

  2. Thank you so much for coming to the show. It was an honor to work with our cast and I’m so glad to hear that you liked it. It felt like our “baby” and I’m so thrilled to see you taking such good care of it.

    • Hi Jessica,

      You’re more than welcome. It was such a pleasure to be there. And thank you for “stopping by” to leave this message.

      All the best to you,
      Andrea

  3. When mothers come together for a pow wow, our spirits do a rain dance and empowerment burst through the clouds showering down Skittles; that we might taste the rainbow. We must savor the many flavors. 😉

    • Hi Dana,

      I love your comment… ‘Specially the part about Skittles.

      Thanks for being there,

      Andrea

  4. Andrea, you KNOW how much I love you. Your words, spoken and sung, have always been uplifting and beautiful. I am daughter, granddaughter and mother. Writing those roles, as I reply, reminds me of the process of mother and the obstacle course of a journey we women take to stake our claim and stand our ground in the Motherhood after having been in a “submissive” role.

    LTYM was a chance for us to say, ‘Here we are.’ Perfectly imperfect we mother the best we can and with our own style.

    I’m so glad you were there in the audience and that you wrote this post.

    Love you!!!

    • Sun,

      I was so proud of you… doing’ your thing up there on stage. What an inspiring story you told. I’m glad you told me about LTYM so I could be there to witness it all.

      Thank you for reading my blog and for your wonderful comment.

      I love you back!

      Andrea

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