Say what?

My daughter talks. A lot. We just usually have no clue what on earth she is saying. And what’s great is that it doesn’t really matter right now. She’ll begin to say more recognizable words before we know it. For now, it’s fun trying to get her to repeat words and hearing her attempts to navigate all the different sounds. The latest word is “Shakespeare.” It sounds more like “Shaw-shue,” but hey, the fact that she’s even trying is fantastic and this is one proud theatre mama.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the way it doesn’t matter that my daughter can’t say or mispronounces most words. Or that she still sometimes points to me and says “Daddy” or points to a mirror and says “baby.” Similarly, I wonder if it could matter a little less that I’m sometimes less than clear on what’s what.

My identity as a mom and as an artist is usually fuzzy at best. How am I an artist again? I’m not out there making theatre these days. I haven’t been writing my morning pages. I haven’t performed in ages. How do I justify writing this blog if more than half the time I feel like I have no idea what on earth I’m talking about or who I am?

Then I remember. This blog is part of my art-making right now. I need to keep coming back to it. I recently revamped my meet up group and have gotten four new members in the past week. That’s a huge step forward! And the cherry on top? I am directing a school play this year and I even get to pick it! How is that not making theatre? Why am I comparing myself to other artist parents who are doing more professional or financially lucrative projects than I am? Like my toddler is with speaking, I’m just not there. For now. And while I have oh so many moments of that feeling unspeakably frustrating, it’s also okay. Really and truly okay. And it’s not settling as long as I keep moving forward and try to wrap my brain and lips around this “artist parent” identity and own it, even when the “artist” part feels a little smudgy.

Say What 1