This is totally how I’m opening the show.
My solo show Mother Tongue opens in a week and as my mom blogger character Hope Silverstein would say- I’m going badonkadonka bonkers.
After way too many late nights and a few crying jags, Scott actually asked me if it would be easier if he and T went home for this last week and I could just concentrate on my work. Which is a very sweet offer from my uber-supportive man.
And the answer is- yes, of course it would be easier. But l don’t want them to go home. Because as hard as it is to be a working mom in a creative profession, I still wouldn’t trade waking up in the morning and seeing my son’s face. Or his hugs when I walk in the door. Or just the half-hour of laughing at Portlandia in bed with Scott at the end of the night. This is the fuel for my heart. And I need my heart. To work. To live. To make art.
Tariku has actually been coming to rehearsals a bit and that’s been a blast. He totally gets the, “This is my stage and that’s your stage,” concept. Plus we recorded sounds of him playing in the rehearsal space, which seem poignant and relevant to use in the soundscape of the show- considering that the show is about the story of how we came to adopt him.
Tariku is more of a little New Yorker every day. He can pretty much tell you how to get anywhere on the subway. He’s even better than the GPS on the iPhone, because he still works once you get underground.
Tell all your friends to get tickets for the show! It’s going to rock. And T will personally give you directions to Williamsburg.
Yesterday was a big day for beginnings and endings. Three years ago yesterday Scott and I took T out the door of his care center for the last time. We had actually met him three days before that, but they transitioned the kids slowly, so for a few days we had to put him back in his crib at night and walk away. Each time it was harder. I remember every second of the day that he was finally with us for good. We watched Obama’s inauguration that night on satellite TV at the guest house while T slept on my chest. At the time I thought he was the world’s greatest sleeper. He spent the entire next year proving to me how wrong I was.
Cattywampus, the play in which I’ve been performing, closed last night. It’s been an amazing run, and such an adventure to be here in New York. As anyone who has ever done theater knows, a show is its own kind of family. I think it may be one of the reasons I fell in love with theater in the first place. I’m relieved in some ways to end the run because it’s an emotionally difficult and draining show for me. But I’ll miss this incredible cast and crew, so I’m stumbling around a bit mopey and sad today. I’m also stumbling because I think I might have broken my toe onstage last night. Because I’m like that about art- no half-measures. If I’m going to go all batshit crazy onstage and start kicking things, once in a while a toe gets broken.
There’s at least one cast member I won’t have to miss, because the fantastically talented DJ Mendel is going to be directing my solo show, Mother Tongue, on February 6 and 7 at The Brick in Williamsburg. We’ve been rehearsing like mad and I’m both anxious and incredibly excited about it. You can get more info about the show and buy tickets at The Brick website. Please tell all your NY friends! This pic is me on our first day of rehearsal at my friend Jordana Toback’s loft. I’m so fortunate that Jordana is also doing the choreography for the piece.
And last but not least- T woke up to his first snowfall yesterday. Seeing the snow through his eyes reminded me of one of the best things about being a parent. Every once in a while, you get to experience the world as gloriously new. I’m not sure I remember ever being this excited to see snow. It was magic.
But not so magic that I didn’t whip out the iPhone and take some video. Please- I was just happy, not insane.
Today a kid on the subway started talking to Tariku in Chinese as I was struggling to give his mom some directions. Tariku gave me the, “What the heck?” look, and I explained to him that the boy was speaking a different language. Tariku processed this and then turned to him and started speaking his best Chinese. And the kid ANSWERED him. And the next thing I knew they were chatting. I swear a casual observer would have thought that Tariku was busting out some Cantonese right there on the R train. I don’t think they solved the climate crisis, but they definitely each made a friend for the duration of the ride.
It seemed particularly ironic that I couldn’t even communicate to his mother that she should ask directions at the ticket booth.
It made me wonder how many things we could do if we didn’t know we couldn’t do them.