She Nailed It!

So I’m a very proud mama – sharing my daughter’s recent theater performance as part of the KSU (Kennesaw State University) Tellers troupe. I can’t stop watching, honestly, because everything about her telling draws me in: the expression, the memories, the emotions, the humor–the incredible ability she has to share her own story.

A little bit of background on Ms. Lauren Marie: She was a storyteller from the age of about3, as we videotaped her retelling and improvising tales of Dorothy and Toto and the Big Bad Wolf. She sat in her sweet little nightgown with the purple flowers. Her hair falling into natural ringlets, with the sides pulled back into a clip and bangs to rest on her forehead. Lauren sat up tall in the kitchen chair, hands resting on the arms, feet alternately swinging and eyes looking beyond the camera into her own remembering and imagination as she told her story. Another time when her dad was filming Cliff or Jordan, Lauren repeatedly wanted to know if the camera was back on her yet, even crying when she had to wait too long. Those are movies that will forever play in my heart.

 

As she grew up, she became very afraid of anything out of the ordinary – the snowmobile’s motor, cutting trees down in the backyard (they might fall on the house or her dad might get hurt), fireworks. She didn’t like any of it. We knew in middle and high school that she needed to be involved in activities of some sort. She loved people and they loved her, but doing something new scared her. Freshman year she tried out for volleyball after a coaxing from her aunt, grandmother and me just outside the gym. She was terrified. So when Lauren says in this video she DID NOT want to try out for softball – there is no exaggeration!

We’ve watched her in the last 5 or 6 years though, as she feels less fearful of life and even takes risks others wouldn’t dare. This performance by Lauren is so true to who she is NOW, to how boldly she approaches her life and how comfortable she is in her own skin. I’m most blessed of all because I get to be the mother of this amazing human being, this woman who embraces herself wholly as she is, who makes so many people laugh when life feels most difficult, and who carries one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known in her lovely, powerful, petite body.

And when it comes to impersonating her mother, the consensus of many is that ‘she nailed it!’

I love you Lauren Marie…..xoxo

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Holiday Moms ~ Unconditional Love

Love LaurenQuite unexpectedly, I’ve felt a calling from within my being. It wasn’t until a beloved and respected Facebook friend, Robin Rice made a post on her page. She was seeking moms of LGBTQ children to take part in a holiday project. Our oldest daughter Lauren is gay and part of this community. Immediately I sent Robin an email and asked how I could help.

Your Holiday Mom is a website sharing letters, videos and audio messages from 40 mothers (and some fathers too) for 40 days between Thanksgiving and New Years. To take part in this project, to be one of those 40 moms–has felt like an immense honor. Being Lauren’s mom has taught me so much about how people are all the same, we’re all gifted with an ability to love and a fear that we might not BE loved. Lauren is proud of who she is, and in the year and a half since she graduated high school especially, we’ve watched her blossom into this amazing being SO filled with a huge heart and unconditional love. Would I say she’s different? Absolutely – because she is – in many ways. Listening to Sally Field talk about her son being gay today lent validation to my belief that it seems there’s almost something so much more open, vulnerable, unconditional in how these ‘special’ beings inspire us to love.

Learning my letter would be shared on Christmas day brought tears to my eyes. Since I connected with this project, I’ve become deeply aware of a growing desire to be there for people who struggle with feeling ok about who they are, who they love and how they experience life from a different perspective. I’m not sure where this all leads me, but I’m going to be finding ways of connecting locally in my own community. And as I watch Lauren with her first real girlfriend, who doesn’t feel so loved and accepted, I’m feeling the call to just hold space and BE love for these young people – and some who are my age and older. Our world needs love around this community. They’re the same as us, and I intend to share that message with all who are willing to hear.

Here’s my letter….of love…and of loving Lauren. I hope you’ll take some time to read the other Mom letters, and some of the comments left from those who read our messages. It will break your heart and give you hope all at once. Much love to you, my friends. xo

 

Holiday Angels

I’m honored to be taking part in this project, set to begin tomorrow and run from Thanksgiving through to New Years. Please take a moment to visit the website and share in your own circles on FB and Twitter, through email, word of mouth or on your own blog should you feel led to do so. Whether you are connected to the LGBTQ community or not, you’ll find messages filled with love for all this holiday season. xo

Visit Your Holiday Mom