So, Thursday was my very first day back on the road driving after Snowmageddon hit the area I live in. My car had hibernated under an igloo of snow for two weeks since the snow had come and I vowed I wasn't driving until the road conditions looked better to me.
On Wednesday, me and my honey pulled out the shovels and got to making our driveway decent enough for me to get my tiny ride out from under its snow cave. I woke up on Thursday with pains radiating throughout my back and neck but my arms were surprisingly pain-free which was weird because I had them working on overtime while shoveling. I was in pain and hoping that it would be gone by that evening when I was set to do a presentation for Ignite DC, an evening event where folks from various walks of life give a five minute presentation using 20 slides about any topic under the sun. Mine was on motherhood. I liken Ignite DC to "intellectual karaoke" where there is drinking, mingling and an adult only atmosphere, but, instead of singing in front of strangers, you are talking and sharing pictures with strangers, leaving yourself open for criticism, but hoping that there are folks who are feeling you enough to carry your message on.
My Ignite presentation was based around how motherhood is revolutionary and transformative, yet, the women holding the roles of mothers are the most devalued folks within our work place. I gathered stats I picked up on sites like Momsrising.org and from my own personal experience. And, though reading data from my notes, I spoke from my heart.
Staying within my five minutes was soooo challenging! I'm a talker and staying succint was definitely something I practiced with little ease that night. While in my Twitter-verse today, I got some really positive feedback about my Ignite speech, though, which made my heart smile. My favorite tweet was from another Ignite presenter, Dennis Bonilla. He wrote: "I thought your presentation was honest, thoughtful, and extremely funny. Thank you. You had my mom cracking up and nodding." Is that awesome or what? A highlight for me during the presentation was when women from the crowd were feeling me when I started talking about the insanity of choosing to give birth knowing the pain that is involved, yet, how we do it because we have an innocent-like love for our children even before they are born. Women in the audience started shouting out the number of hours of labor they endured through childbirth once I shared mine while on stage. One woman said 72 hours and I bowed down to her and would have started a call and response song if I had had more than five minutes up there. 72 hours of labor, OUCH!
I'm going to post my slideshow with audio soon after I edit it a bit.
My Telephone Stalker
But, before I even made it to Ignite, I had to pick my daughter up from school. The plan was that she was going to stay with her grandparents while her dad and I went to Ignite. But, her dad had to work late (due to lost hours from Snowmageddon) and couldn't come with me, so I was to go by myself. I dropped her off at her grandparents with instructions to get started on her homework and she informed me that she was not happy to be left behind.
"I'm tired of you always going to places for grown-ups only," she pouted.
I didn't even argue. I rarely go to adult-only venues. As I posted earlier, I purposefully chose to perform at venues that are family-friendly so I can bring her. So, she wasn't luring me into that trap today. I kissed her good-bye and jumped in the car to go to the Metro station where I would catch a train downtown instead of try to fight getting a parking space.
Two minutes in the car, my phone rings. It's her. She wants to continue the converation.
"Finish your homework and then we may talk about it," I say.
Fifteen minutes later, I'm walking towards the trains. Phone rings.
"I'm finished my homework. So, how about coming and taking me with you."
So, I tell her to go and review her homework like I've taught her and then have one of her grandparents look it over and then we can talk later. I hung up as the subway glided underground and I lost phone reception. When I emerged in the city 20 minutes later, I saw that she had left me ten voice mails. I did the only smart thing to do. I turned off the ringer.
The next day she informed me that she has no problem calling me and calling me.
"You are going to answer it at some point," she said.
"But why do you do that when you don't really have anything in particular to say to me," I asked.
"I just want to hear you breathe," she said. As I paused and fought back the tears upon hearing such a beautiful sentiment, I turned around (I was doing the dishes) and saw her laughing.
"Just kidding," she laughed. "I was just really, really, bored."