Worth it

I’ve been to hours of rehearsals and have missed hours of rehearsals. I’ve driven to rehearsal and wiped tears off my cheeks the whole way there because it was my only time alone to vent the frustration and sadness I was feeling over my oldest being sick and scared and beyond the fixing I used to be able to do with band-aids and boo-boo kisses.

I’ve laid awake at night while Otto gently snored next to me, my prayers for strength and patience and grace all tangled up with mental repetitions of my lines for the show—lines I could’ve easily learned in an afternoon back when I was in college, but which now eluded me or got twisted up on my tongue as my older, slower brain darted from one worry to the next. I stared at the ceiling in the dark and hoped I wouldn’t make a fool of myself; hoped I hadn’t made the wrong choice, staying with the show, even in the midst of everything else.

I apologized to my girl for leaving her so much, especially this last week. “I would’ve been mad at you if you dropped out,” she said, simply. “It’s okay. I’m glad you’re doing it.”

We opened on Thursday night; because it was a school night, Chickadee stayed home, and my dad came to see it, instead. He sat in the second row and beamed at me the entire two hours. Other cast members whispered backstage about the “white-haired gentleman in the second row who is clearly enjoying himself immensely.” I giggled and told them “That’s my dad!” This brought a chorus of “HE’S ADORABLE!”s from my castmates.

This was enough to make for an awesome evening. By the time we got home, I was riding an adrenaline wave so high that Otto finally commented, “You’re… pretty pumped right now, huh? You’re kinda chatty.”

Last night, my dad stayed home with Monkey. [Sidebar: Want to have some fun? Take one 12-year-old boy who thinks farts are hilarious but that actual female anatomy is the grossest thing ever and offer to bring him to see The Vagina Monologues. Observe horrified retching and squirming. Repeat the next day, if you’re particularly cruel.] Otto and Chickadee came to see the show, and sat in the second row where Dad had sat the night before. They smiled and laughed, and I was happy to be able to look out and see them there.

If you’ve never been to a production of The Vagina Monologues before, one of the things they do is—as part of the introduction to the show—they talk about how we’re all “vagina warriors” and then they pass out index cards, asking the audience members to complete the sentence “I am a vagina warrior because….” The cards are collected at intermission, and when the show is over, the cast lines up on stage and reads off some of the responses. This is BAR NONE my favorite part of the night, because the responses range from the hilarious to the inspiring.

The first night I read a serious response from a woman who’d broken the cycle of domestic violence. Last night I got a card from someone who said that her vagina wasn’t a secret place, it was a LOVELY place. (Ha!) And then the next person to read had this card:

And Chickadee beamed at me and I threw her a kiss and then I teared up and was a blubbery mess for the rest of the readings.

I got the very best one.

63 Responses to “Worth it”

  1. 1
    Headless Mom February 18, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    What a cool kid.

  2. 2
    Stephanie O'Dea February 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    wow. you’re doing a great job, Mir.
    Congratulations on the play! FUN.

  3. 3
    Lisa February 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    YAY! I am so happy you had those experiences. YOU are “a strong, beautiful, elegant young woman” and you are raising your daughter with a tremendous amount of love.
    Selfishly glad to have your voice back on the internet with more frequently. You inspire more than you know. Also glad because this means there has been some respite in the drama your family had been dealing with day to day. Sending cyber love and hugs all around!!!

  4. 4
    Tenessa February 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    AH-MAY-ZING! Way to go MIR! Way to go Chickie!

  5. 5
    meghann February 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #


  6. 6
    Rachael February 18, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Maybe it’s just ’cause my 2 y/o just had surgery on his back… but dang, I am an emotional blubbery mess also after reading that.

  7. 7
    Aimee February 18, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Oh wow, reading Chickadee’s card just made my whole weekend, I think! That’s awesome.

  8. 8
    Laura February 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I love your daughter. That is all.

  9. 9
    Debra February 18, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Dang girl, you made me cry. :) and smile so big I thought my cheeks would burst.

  10. 10
    Megan February 18, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    What a fabulous, amazing person you get to raise!

  11. 11
    Jen February 18, 2012 at 11:11 am #


  12. 12
    Karen R. February 18, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Wow — in the best possible way. Congratulations on everything!

  13. 13
    Laura February 18, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    ^ all of the above

  14. 14
    jill W February 18, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Wow. That girl is awesome. So is her mom.

  15. 15
    Aubri February 18, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    :’-) I love your cute little girl. She’s such a rockstar. You’re an amazing momma. Keep up the good work!

  16. 16
    Melissa February 18, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Love it.

  17. 17
    Midj February 18, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I don’t cry at my computer, ever. Tears running down my face. She is amazing, as are you. Thanks for sharing parts of your life with us. Love speeding your way.


  18. 18
    Erin February 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    And now I’M choked up! How awesome is that? Sending you ALL lots of love.

  19. 19
    Jess H February 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I’m all teary too. You both are warriors.

  20. 20
    Wendy February 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I probably should have waited to read this one until I WASN’T working in an open room with my co-workers.

  21. 21
    Christina February 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Crying a really ugly cry here and hoping my 9YO feels that way about me when she is a teen. Well done, Mir.

  22. 22
    Jodie February 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Dangit Mir! Now I’m all choked up!

  23. 23
    Chris February 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Chickie is amazing and you are doing a bang up job Mir! That much is obvious. Now i am off to have a good cry and hope I can give that same gift to my daughter one day.

  24. 24
    MomCat February 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Amazing girl, amazing mom….so glad she is feeling better!

  25. 25
    hokgardner February 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Just lovely.

    I’ve gotten brave and submitted to the Listen To Your Mother show, and I hope I make it through auditions so I can see my big girls smiling at me from the second row.

  26. 26
    Jessica February 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    You’ve shown time and again how understanding and compassionate you are with your kids and other people in general. It looks like the “do as I do” lessons have been perfectly passed along to your daughter. You both got the best one.

    (You made me tear up, which I don’t usually do while reading blogs…darn you!)

  27. 27
    sophie February 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    That is so wicked, awesome, warrior beautiful. I can’t wait to see the show tonight! Driving from Atlanta with my sister.

  28. 28
    Mandy February 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Beautiful – all of you. Hope you find a lovely frame and proudly display that love note where you can see it when times are tough.

  29. 29
    mamaspeak February 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    There should be warning labels w/these posts. I’m sitting in a ski cabin w/my extended family, crying. Now I’m gonna have to explain Vagina Warrior to my 5yo in front of my 14yo nephew. The squirminess abounds here.
    Love you both. (((hugs)))

  30. 30
    Mom February 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Fantastic Chickie, fantastic Mir. I am one proud vagina warrior grandma/mom.

    Love to all.

  31. 31
    Deanna February 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    You, dear Mir ROCK!! So does your lovely elegant daughter! I’m glad it was such a good time for everyone. You earned it.

  32. 32
    Diane February 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Please! Stop with the tear-inducing posts already! No, I’m kidding. This is just beautiful. I want to wrap you all up in big,not-creepy-stranger-hug. Glad you and Chickie both made it to the show. :)

  33. 33
    Lucinda February 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    That’s called “Yer doin’ it right!” Glad you didn’t drop out of the Vagina Monologues. I think you both needed it more than you might have known.

  34. 34
    Jenny February 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    This is awesome. I think my favorite part is Chickadee’s editing marks, because that is what all the greeting cards I send look like. Way to go, both of you.

  35. 35
    Debbi February 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Okay, you made me cry. Or she did. Or you both did. SO worth it!

  36. 36
    Shirley @ gfe February 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Way cool, Mir! Way cool. Yay, for you and for Chickadee! :-)


  37. 37
    NTE February 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Aw. So glad she’s improving & that you rocked the play! (Sorry, I’m just catching up!)

  38. 38
    Denise February 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm #


  39. 39
    Beth R February 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Ditto what everyone else has said – proud of you for persevering and doing a great job on the show, thrilled that Chickadee is getting better, and psyched to see such a perfect sign of the amazing mom you are.

    Big hugs to all of you (and a poke to Otto for snoring [hee hee])

  40. 40
    Chris February 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Congrats to your and kudos to Chickadee. You are both wonderful women!

  41. 41
    Stimey February 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    For your daughter to write that? Incredible. It says something really good about both of you.

  42. 42
    leftofordinary February 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Tearing up here too… I’m glad she was well enough to come and see you shine.

  43. 43
    Lisa February 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I picture you, over these past couple of weeks, feeling like you weren’t doing a good enough job of anything…of not being there enough for your daughter, of not being fully present at your rehearsals. It’s so seldom that we mothers get to feel like we’re successfully juggling and I hope you are able to take this moment and feel proud. You’ve survived what must have been a devastating couple of weeks, you’ve taken good care of your daughter’s health needs *and* you’ve turned her into a vagina warrior! You are BAD ASS…and pretty too!
    I’m not a praying person, and we’ve never met, but know that you and Chickie have been in my thoughts and I am wishing you both strength and healing and buckets of ice cream!

  44. 44
    Laura February 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    That made me tear up! So sweet!

    Between that and the hospital stay, she gets a free pass on teenage snark for the rest of her life, right?

  45. 45
    Laura February 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    PS. I’m so glad she’s okay!

  46. 46
    addy February 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Words escape now ….. :) is all i got!

  47. 47
    Hall February 19, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Wow! That is so wonderful… never forget this when you find yourself wondering if you’re doing it right.

  48. 48
    Beth in IA February 19, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    As one of your many fans, this was such a good post to read. Glad you stayed with the show, excited for you that the performances are going to so well, and beyond thrilled Chickie got to attend and you two shared that wonderful moment. Hoping this has kick-started your heart’s healing in a big way!

  49. 49
    Sassy Apple February 19, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Congratulations! Laminate that paper, frame it and put it on your nightstand……then give it to Chickie if/when her teenager is acting like…….well, a teenager. Here’s to the healing power of vaginas and ice cream!!!

  50. 50
    Lindsey February 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Reading this post made me tear up… so awesome!

  51. 51
    Amy-Go February 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Dang it, if you’re going to post stuff like this, at least start with a “Kleenex Necessary” warning, willya? :)

  52. 52
    Heather February 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Well that certainly made ME tear up a little :) Mir, you are just tremendously cool and Chickie is further proof thereof.

  53. 53
    elz February 20, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Thank goodness that card came at the end of the play. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything-just tears.

    Good job.

  54. 54
    brigitte February 20, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Ditto what elz said!

    and proud of your dad, too! :-)

  55. 55
    Billie February 20, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    So sweet!!

  56. 56
    Lily February 20, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    And then I cried! I hope my daughter grows up to be awesome like yours! Good job sticking with the show even through all the drama! Hope things are settling down!

  57. 57
    Sheila February 20, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Yep. A keeper, that one. Love.

  58. 58
    {sue} February 20, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Bah. I’m a blubbery mess! (I’m also trying to picture MY dad sitting though the Vagina Monologues, and just uh… no. Once again proving that Mir’s dad is the coolest.)

  59. 59
    Tracy B February 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    And now…I’m all blurry eyed and beaming. Bravo!!!!

  60. 60
    kathy February 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Bawling my eyes out. Love that girl of yours!

  61. 61
    kim February 21, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    This here is why we keep telling you how awesome you are.

  62. 62
    Liza February 22, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    I cried reading Chickadee’s card. If you find yourself forgetting what a great relationship the two of you have, or how well she’s surviving being a teenager, you should consider tattooing that on your arm.

    And I love that you took Monkey to the show.

  63. 63
    All Adither February 25, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    Complete sweetness. This melts my heart.

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