People are always asking me how I manage life as the mother of 8, saying they have a hard enough time juggling the day-to-day with just one or two. They ask for advice, and of course, I give it. Sometimes they just need a shoulder, a friend, someone to listen. Without hesitation, my ears are all theirs. After all, motherhood is hard work...no matter how many kids you have.
Recently, my crazy has hit an all-time high. And truth be told, I could use a shoulder, a friend, someone one to listen--a pair of ears to be all mine...just for a while.
In the midst of all the "normal" demands, pressures and obligations this family faces on a regular basis, we're moving. We, a family of 10 who has been deeply rooted in the same home for 12 years, are moving! I mean really moving.
It's overwhelming. The pressure has been mounting, and my head is about to pop! When I look around, I don't see my home anymore. I just see THINGS...things that need to be packed, things that need to be sorted through, things that need to be yard sold, things that need to be done...things that need to be MOVED.
A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend, Angie Mizzell, gifted me with an awesome desk plaque. It reads, "Gone Crazy...be back soon." I love it! The only problem is only 1/2 of it is true...I have "gone crazy," only I see NO possibility of returning any time soon.
Shortly after, Brandon, my "man-child," brought me a toy Despicable Me minion that he had gotten from a kids' meal and was keeping in his truck. He handed it to me and sweetly said, "Here you go, Mom. Take care of him for me. He doesn't say much, but he'll listen."
LISTEN! How did he know? Was there a blinking, neon "Listen to Me" sign above my head? Was I unknowingly rambling and murmuring about needing someone to listen? That was really significant for me! I don't know about you, but my kids never listen. They want to be heard...but they never listen. They say crazy things like, "Mama! She won't listen to me! He won't answer me," expecting me to force someone to hear their every word. But they know nothing about listening to me.
In the midst of all this house selling and moving business, I was invited to teach a writing workshop for teen girls as a part of the Burke High School Teen Empowerment Conference in Charleston, SC. My topic...Finding, Defining and Sharing Your Voice. These young ladies were yearning not only to share their voices, but also to have them be heard. They shared with me things you don't share with someone whom you've just met. That's how badly they needed someone to listen. I know how it feels to long for someone to listen, which is why Voice is so important to me. So quite naturally, my ears were all theirs.
On March 2nd, I'll audition for a stage production called "Listen to Your Mother." If selected for the show, I'll have the opportunity to share my thoughts on any aspect of motherhood, really speak my heart. After all the listening I've been doing, that will be a welcomed change. Angie, the same friend above who recognizes I'm crazy but loves me anyway, is the director and producer of the Charleston show. The idea is to give "personal stories about motherhood a voice, microphone and a stage."
After all this wishing for someone to listen, my audition piece isn't even written. I have no idea what I'll write...no idea what I'll say. I don't even know when I'll squeeze in the time to write it with all the packing, unpacking and upheaval that will be going on. When will I even listen to myself so that I'll know what story to convey? I just don't know.
But there is one thing I do know. The subject of Voice, being heard and the treasure of having someone to listen permeates my life. It always has.
And truth be told, that's all any of us really want.
Sometimes, we just need someone to listen.