Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What is "Listen To Your Mother?"

I had not heard of this event until a friend suggested I audition. I followed the link and read up on it, then watched some of last year's presentations, all of which are on youtube. I was impressed with the concept and began to work on an audition piece, but I still didn't feel like I fully "got it." A couple of weeks ago we had a rehearsal, where several of the 12 of us who were chosen for this year's show read our pieces to the rest of the presenters. Holy moly! When it came my turn I had to pass in order to get myself together; I was so touched by what I'd heard. I also asked more questions of the woman who heads up the Northern Utah Show in hopes that I could better explain this to people I know. This is what I learned:

A few years ago, Heather Johnson--the founder of the Northern Utah show--was up late with a baby and stumbled upon the youtube videos of Listen To Your Mother, a live show in New York where women and men and even some teens gave a 3-5 minute talk about some aspect of motherhood. Some were from the perspective of the mother herself, some from the perspective of child, or spouse, or even general observations. All of the pieces had been auditioned and chosen for both the message they had, but how well they went with the other presentations. Each person then read their piece before an audience and a camera at a performance the week of Mother's day. The presentations were then put on youtube to benefit anyone who would find them--and Heather Johnson was one of those women. She was so touched by the show she tracked down the founder and asked her if they had ever considered doing the show in other cities, that she would love to help put one together in Utah. At that time, expansion wasn't a priority, but Heather asked that she be remembered so that if LTYM decided to move into other cities, they would come back to her. She was absolutely certain this would happen, but she didn't know when. Just a year or two later the founder called Heather back and Heather began putting together a show for Utah. 2015 is the third year that LTYM has taken place in Northern Utah, and yet most people still have never heard of it. When they do, like me, they don't really understand what it is. So, this is what it is: Twelve presenters celebrating the hardships and beauty of motherhood.

At the rehearsal a couple of weeks ago I was instantly humbled by the experiences of the other women there. I laughed, I cried--and cried--but left that experience with a connection to these women and a sense of validation and purpose in both my involvement with this group but also my role in the lives of my children. The things shared were truly beautiful, but not in the way where I felt diminished or "Not enough" as so easily befalls us mom's who are so critical of ourselves. I didn't feel like it was overly "praising" or overly "Angst driven." It was just . . . truth. And it was beautiful.

When I got home my husband asked me how it was and I fumbled and bumbled in my attempt at explaining it. I didn't make a lot of sense, but I ended with "I want the whole family to go." I have had a lot of opportunities to present things in the past, to teach or talk about personal growth or goal setting or any number of topics. I have never wished my kids were there like I did that night. So, for my mother's day gift this year I will have my children in the audience. Not just to hear what I have to say, but to hear what this collective group of women have to say about moms. The good. The hard. The crushing. The beautiful.

I hope that you will look into this program and see if it isn't something that might speak to your heart. I hope that you will consider attending. Watch past videos, read up on the mission and goals. 

Hopefully, you'll mark your calendar so that on Thursday, May 7, 2015, you will be at Thanksgiving Point to share in the experience. Tickets are on sale and only $9.99 each. It is suitable for all ages so bring your mom, your friends, your kids. You won't regret it.