Listen to Your Mother, She Has a Story to Tell
***A wonderful tale AND a treasured giveaway***
As a little girl, I would sit at my grandmother’s feet, hypnotized with her fantastic tales of growing up in Colombia, South America. I wanted to tell stories just like she did, to be a storyteller, the kind that left you feeling like you were the one that barely jumped out of the way of the stampeding bull. My heart drummed with each of my Abuela’s words, and I dreamed of one day having stories to tell and the audience to hear them.
When my children were born, I was granted that wish. I would read to my three boys from the books they had picked out at the library, but after one or two readings, they would turn their beautiful faces up to mine and ask, “A story, mama, but one from your mouth.”I would begin my stories of growing up, of when I was in the second grade and walking home from school one day when a musty gray Great Dane knocked me flat on my back. While he lorded over me, drool
I would begin my stories of growing up, of when I was in the second grade and walking home from school one day when a musty gray Great Dane knocked me flat on my back. While he lorded over me, drool spooling from his mouth and his heavy paws set on my birdlike shoulders, I closed my eyes and prayed to Jesus to make it quick. My children would laugh, snuggle in a little closer under my arm, and I could feel their cheeks turn up in grins as they leaned against my chest. Twenty years have passed, and I still haven’t run out of the “stories from my mouth.”
In grade school, I wrote for our school paper. Funny columns, mostly. In high school, it was my prose and poetry that was published in our school’s newspaper, La Jeunesse. While in college, I submitted my angst-filled broken-hearted messes of words and passages to free campus ‘zines.’ After college, I worked, eventually married, then my long-yearned for babies arrived. I continued to write and tell stories, but now the only space for them was in my store-bought notebooks.
There was no place for my writing. No medium, no periodical, and I had no time to search out publications. I was submerged in motherhood with three children under seven. I would write at night when everyone was in bed, pages of stories, things I didn’t want to forget. I began short fantasies that felt like dreams. I would write with a pen, then continue to write without a pen while I changed diapers, gave baths, ran for groceries, and played with my children. The stories continued in my head.
In 2008, enter the internet. I found blogs and met Ann Imig online as a fellow humorist and Wisconsinite. I began my own blog, and my friendship with Ann grew strong through the exchange of our words online. I sailed along with her… now having company in the lonely existence that motherhood can be. I was no longer alone with my writing or my stories. In 2010, Ann had just started the Listen To Your Mother Show in her hometown of Madison. She was committed to sharing stories and building community through the exchange of experiences. I told Ann that I wanted to be part of this ideal of witnessing each others lives, but didn’t see myself as someone who could do it.I had no stage experience, I had never read before an audience, and I wasn’t an actress.
I had no stage experience, I had never read before an audience, and I wasn’t an actress.
She told me, “But you have a story to tell.”
Yes, I was a storyteller. Because of Ann’s encouragement, I auditioned.
I auditioned and was cast in the 2011 Listen To Your Mother Madison show. For the first time in my life, I was going to read my words aloud. After that day on stage behind a microphone, everything changed in my writing life. I grew bold with my storytelling. I kept nothing inside and found my wings. With wings, you take flight.
Since Listen To Your Mother, I have submitted my words to other publications, I have auditioned for other shows. I applied to bring LTYM to Milwaukee and now co-produce Milwaukee’s Listen To Your Mother Show. We are about to celebrate our third season.
And now, I am honored to say that I am a contributor to the newly released anthology published by Putnam Books and edited by Ann Imig, Listen To Your Mother:What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now. I am moved beyond words to have an essay I’ve written about my Abuela included in this collection of 56 vignettes celebrating motherhood in all of its diverse, beautifully complex and unlimited possibilities.
Abuelita, I know you see me. I’m a storyteller now. Just like you.
THANK YOU, Ann Imig, and all who share their lives through telling their stories in the now 39-city wide national Listen To Your Mother Shows.
You can find a listing of a show near you HERE.
You can purchase the Listen To Your Mother book just in time for Mother’s Day at booksellers HERE.
“Storytelling is an ancient art form and a valuable form of human expression.”
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This post was written by Alexandra Rosas exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
CONTINUE READING IN THE FRONT PORCH