Today, fearing the worst sort of foul play, I helped search a park for a missing teenage girl. Turns out, she rode her bike about 10 miles from home and spent the night in a church. I don’t begrudge her or her family one minute of the time I spent worrying for her, praying for her, or looking for her. She is safe. What a relief.
Today I listened to my teenage friend, a bright young girl with an old soul, as she told another friend and I about the anxiety and the sadness she’s felt since the structure and identity of her family changed seven months ago. My other friend offered her perspective on fear and heartache, but I said little of what I thought and felt. Another time. Tonight I am thinking of my beautiful young friend who is learning—too young? who am I to say?—to navigate the inexplicable gaps and attendant pain that are sometimes left by those proverbial “circumstances beyond our control.”
Today I sat around a table with twelve women, most of whom I’ve never met before, and we read our stories of motherhood. I nodded in agreement and laughed in sympathy and felt my heart change and open as we shared the sacredness of our common ground—our motherhood, and our humanity. These are stories of identity, exhaustion, mystery, the deepest love, heartache, sorrow, healing, hilarity, learning, and becoming.
I did not clean anything today. I did not make dinner. I did not answer emails or cross a single thing off my to do list. Today was a day filled with people, and it was glorious.
P.S. You and people you love can also hear the inspiring, humbling, laughter-inducing words of the same twelve women who showed me the most beautiful glimpses of humanity tonight. On Thursday, May 9, at Northern Utah’s first Listen to Your Mother Show. At tonight’s rehearsal, the power of these stories sunk deep, and I want you to feel it, too. Come.