Point A to Point B {Listen To Your Mother, Baltimore}

by Lenae on March 6, 2014

Just across the way there was a large conference room.  Outside its entrance was taped a sign: “National Audubon Society meeting.”  My brain felt fine but my heart was racing wildly as I shifted my weight from foot to foot, absent-mindedly crumpling the papers in my hands.  In my distraction, I couldn’t remember quite what the Audubon Society is: …Is their business birds?  Animals?  Who cared?  Maybe I’d fold up this little speech and tuck it into my purse, hide it under my wallet and chapsticks.  I’d saunter into the National Something-Or-Other Society instead of the audition I’d signed up for.   Maybe there would be snacks!  All would be well and safe and maybe my hands would stop sweating.

This was the conundrum I found myself in a few weeks ago at a library in Baltimore.  The thread tying me to Listen To Your Mother begins with Adventures in Babywearing, a blog by Stephanie Precourt that I’ve been following since my own early days of blogging.  I remember her excitement and passion for the production, described on LTYM’s website as “a national series of original live readings” on the topic of motherhood.  Initially, I thought, Stephanie is a lot cooler than I even imagined!  And then, after the fact, I whispered quietly to myself, I don’t know if I could ever do something like that, even in a smallish, local setting.

Dreaming big can be hard to translate into actual, tangible actions.  Compare it to that complete freak-out at the door of the airplane when you realize you’re about jump into the air with only a parachute and some insanely cheerful instructor to save you.  Or that moment when you’re dilated to 7 cm and suddenly, the sciatic pain and perpetually full bladder of yesterday suddenly seem a lot–A LOT–more desirable than pushing a human being out of your body.

Azerbaijan was a fantastic idea until we were winding through its dark streets on the night we arrived.  All my exotic musings of it disappeared in flourishy, Disney-like swirls of smoke as the truth settled in: We’ve moved our family of 6 across the planet to a place most of our friends and family had never heard of and OH MY GOODNESS, WE NEED TO GO BACK HOME to the place of convenient stores and familiar everything and very few unknowns.

National Audubon Society, anyone?

But we made it.  The Disney smoke reliably swept away the early anxiety and we even double-downed on the comfort we came to feel as residents of Baku: We grew to love Azerbaijan and its people.

In the days before the LTYM audition, I was confiding in a friend about my nerves.  “I mean, I’m just not a brave person…” I typed into the chat box.  Oh, how swiftly the dots of an incoming response started flying!

“You mean, ‘not brave’ as in you didn’t just finish a 2-year tour overseas with five kids?” she wondered.

Right, right — that.  In the aftermath it doesn’t seem as brave; at some point my heart swelled big enough for the place that it completely engulfed any doubts.  Anything but affection is hard to imagine.  Yet if the proof is indeed in the translation–dreams to action–then the simple fact that I filled out that audition form screams volumes about new Lenae as opposed to old Lenae.

That isn’t to say I’m ready to go skydiving tomorrow.  I guess I just grew up a bit in Baku.  The fear of a nightmare unfolding gave way to a golden-drenched string of opportunities to love, learn, and solidify the inner confidence that mind-boggling risks are often what carry you to where God wants you to be.  And oftentimes, that thrashing journey from Point A to Point B demands sharing.

Thankfully I only had a few moments to contemplate snack-diving the National Audubon meeting.  The audition itself was a brief blur, nursed along by the wide smiles of Taya and the rest of the panel screening the pieces.

I refreshed the e-mail twice with the announcement that I’d made the cast for the Listen To Your Mother/Baltimore show.  Then I casually told my husband.  Then I screamed.  Then I jumped up and down.  #barfyexcited, I described to my fellow castmates a few days later (might as well let them know ahead of our first rehearsal what they’ll be dealing with, right?)

Barfy-excited, indeed — I made it!  …And I guess, I am brave.

You can find out more about
Listen To Your Mother and information on ticket sales here.

Melissa March 6, 2014 at 11:20 am


This is me jumping up and down, arms flapping and girly screaming (can you see it?? Can you???)

I am SOOOOOOOO Happy For you…wonder If I can ask for tickets to Baltimore for my Birthday ;-) ? You are going to be amazing, it’s going to be such an awesome experience and you my friend are going to rock. Because you are brave, and amazing, and beautiful, and yesssssss!!!!!!!!

Lenae March 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm

You are so sweet, friend, and you’re making me lean more toward ‘excited’ than ‘barfy’ with all that enthusiasm :D

Lorene March 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

What?! Okay, first congratulations! Second, so proud of you! That is so exciting to bust out! And third, what is this LTYM?

Lenae March 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Thanks, Lorene! LTYM is a live show put on in cities all over the U.S. around Mother’s Day. Each cast members deliver his/her self-written piece on the subject of motherhood :D

Robin (noteverstill) March 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm

:) ))))))))

Lenae March 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

:D !!!!!

Val March 7, 2014 at 2:06 am

O. M. Gosh!!!!! I want to be there!!! Hmm, I need to find a way to make that happen. Soooo cool!!! You will be great my friend! You are amazing!

Lenae March 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Val, thank you! And you know I’d love to see your face in the audience (or anywhere, for that matter!)

Abby Green (@AbbyOTR) March 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

As one of your fellow LTYM cast mates, I am excited to meet you and hear more about your fascinating life! And thanks for coining the hashtag #barfyexcited – that perfectly describes my feelings, too. See ya at rehearsals!

Lenae March 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Abby, thanks for stopping by! I’m thrilled to meet all of you and see how the production goes — sure to be pure magic :)

Dana March 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Hi Lenae – just read your Meet Our Cast piece and popped over to visit my fellow cast mate. I hope you get over the barfy part of your excitement before the show, but I’ll bring a plastic bag just in case. ;) Looking forward to meeting you in person soon!

Lenae March 12, 2014 at 1:37 am

Thanks for stopping by, Dana! Judging by everyone’s friendliness, I’m guessing all that barfiness very well may be gone by the time we get to Show Day :)

Nicole Hallford March 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

LENAE! That’s so incredibly awesome! YAY!

Lenae March 12, 2014 at 1:35 am

Thank you, sweet friend!

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms March 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Cannot wait to meet you at rehearsal! I’m pretty barfy excited myself. :) Ellen

Lenae March 12, 2014 at 1:35 am

Glad to know I’m not alone — hooray! See you in a few weeks! :D

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