March 12, 2013

Oh, Everyone Can Sing

Oh, everyone can sing. That was the encouragement my musician mother gave many a reluctant choir member who claimed “I just can’t sing solos” throughout the years. She nudged me along with the same admonishment when I joined the high school choir and offered the same protest. Mom knew I was keenly aware that my voice was nowhere near the caliber of her classically trained soprano and that of my sister’s pipes with an insane range of tenor to alto to coloratura. Oh, I could carry a tune in a bucket, but it was clear that Carnegie Hall wouldn’t call for a command performance anytime soon.

My voice was different from theirs. Not bad. Just different. Fortunately for her musical charges -- and for me -- one of the many wise things about my mom was that she could see the beauty in The Different and open your eyes to see it too. So...her reluctant singers would sing.

Including me. Not sounding like her, not sounding like my sister, but sounding like…me.

Today, thirty years after finding my voice, I was selected to participate in the Listen to Your Mother Show. The production brings together a patchwork of bloggers and parent-bloggers of varying ages, ethnicities, abilities and backgrounds to speak the words we have confided to the online world, but have not yet given voice. Our stories and the ways in which we deliver them in this spoken word performance will be as different as we are from each other.

While an honor and exciting, this selection is also humbling. Better writers than me auditioned; not all were selected, and certainly better writers than me are in this show. Realizing all of this, my reluctant-singer-self whispered "But what if I’m not like the others…what if I’m different, what if…"

Then mom’s encouragement echoed in my mind "Oh, everyone can sing…”

She was right: everyone...

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a voice; and there’s beauty in them all. Not because of their likeness, but because of the richness their differences bring. The neat thing is that Listen to Your Mother weaves all of these differences together to create a tapestry that reflects who we are as individuals, as families, as friends, and as a community built on different, beautiful stories and voices.

And I get to be part of cool is that?

Thanks mom…even now, you’re still helping me find my voice.

P.S. You're invited to the show because my mom would want you to be there. Okay, maybe I'm putting words in her mouth, but you should come. Click here for show info.


  1. Do you know how amazing you were? YOu lit up the room.
    SO honored to have you.

    1. Thank YOU.

      And thank you and Jenn for providing not only me, but everyone who auditioned a space to speak from our hearts. That alone was a priceless experience. :)

  2. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the YouTube video of your piece when the show is finished! Congratulations on being chosen.

    1. Thank you, Kristin!
      So excited to be adding my voice to everyone else's. This is gonna be something else. What an opportunity.

  3. This was an amazing explanation of the message behind LTYM! Can't wait to hear your YouTube video!

    1. Thanks Tracey!
      Funny how our moms really DID know what they were talking about, huh? :) And the irony that it's called the "LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER" show isn't lost on me, either. :)