I am giving birth right now.
Deep long sobs.
The kind of sobs that rock you.
The kind of sobs that make your eyes puffy even the next day.
I am giving birth to me.
Ok so it’s a bit metaphorical but try to follow me. I have said in the past many times that Leslie is dead and her rotting corpse lies on the kitchen floor while everyone in the family keeps stepping over her pretending not to see all the flies. It seemed true at the time. It was my truth. I think it is the truth for many mommas. We die a little when our children come into the world to make room for all the nurturing love and painfully deep selflessness we have for them. It’s okay. We do it and we never look back. We never regret but we give up that thing that made us who we were in order to help them grow into who they will become. Now while it is far from over, at ages, 9, 7, and 4, they can stand on their own two feet (literally.) I only pick them up when there is a fall or a bruised ego. They can think for themselves. While not always making the best choices (a velvet tufted kings crown to school or a popsicle for breakfast) at least they are attempting and don’t need me to hover. They can brush their teeth, eat their own food, dress themselves and use the potty. Finn still needs the occasional but wipe…ha ha. But they are becoming self sufficient little people. Beautiful self sufficient little people, and here I am empty arms. I have always been one to need to fill them in one way or another- so here I am arms outstretched and ready to give birth. I am giving birth to Leslie. My next incarnation. The new me, and I am sobbing so deeply it hurts. I welcome her from inside of me, with these open arms. I grab her, and hug her and I sob in her shoulder. Welcome back new-old friend, it’s so good to see you.
What is the catalyst? Today… today is the day. I have worked hard my whole life in one way or another. Had odd jobs and gone to college but one constant has remained. I have always written. Occasionally, frightfully, I have put myself out there for folks to see and hear. I have accepted the criticisms and the praise. Yet always in me there lurked the doubt that I was not good enough. To call myself a writer and artist was a scary thing, but it’s always been there hidden in my gut. Sometimes it pours out of me and other times it’s been evasive and a struggle. I think most truthfully it hides behind the fear of success rather than failure. If I succeed at this then I will be out there with no cover, no shelter, no armor. While those of you who know me may think I’m tough. Truthfully I am fragile and have the insides of a marshmallow… Today is the day and I think it’s time. I’ve heard it said that at 40 we are given the gift of WTF. We care less and less about the image that we portray to the world and FEEL more and more the selves we are truly on our insides. I FEEL that. I FEEL like this strong beautiful talented Leslie that is in my head and less and less like the timid, scared, overweight one I see in the mirror. I welcome that. In honor of that I took a chance. One that I might not have taken before but one that I believe in and one that I’m so deeply grateful that I did. I submitted a piece from the blog to “Listen to your Mother.” If you don’t know what this is, I suggest you Google it right now. Run don’t walk. It’s amazing. “Giving mother’s day the mic,” they say. They are giving this mother more than a mic. Unknowingly they have become my birthing coaches. Yelling from my side as I push. “GO GO GO YOU GOT THIS…” They are helping me deliver this new self into the world. I can’t thank them enough for this chance to shine, to grow, to share this new me, the chance to be reborn. I’m so excited at the possibilities.
This new journey, this next phase of Motherhood will be one where I get to be this mom to my kids but also where I get to be some of me again. I will spend some time nurturing and mothering me. Motherhood takes on so many shapes, so many phases, so many truths. Today is the day-It’s time. My bags are packed and I am ready for this journey.
Please visit www.listentoyourmothershow.com for details on my upcoming performance and for a listing of events around the country.