Could that be me someday?

As I sat in the audience this afternoon and listened intently to the fourteen mothers on stage pour their hearts and souls out during their time at the mic, I couldn't help but wonder:

Could I actually do that? Could that be me someday?

My mother-in-law and I arrived early, and snagged great seats - front and center - to take it all in. As the theater filled up, the room began to buzz with excitement. I heard a song playing that I had suggested via Twitter to Stephanie, the show's Director, last week when she asked "What's your favorite song about motherhood or makes you think about your babies?" Instantly, I thought of the video montages I've made on each of the kids' birthdays and tweeted back, "Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean, Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney, and It Won't Be This Way for Long by Darius Rucker," which were three of my favorites that I had used as background music for those videos of my precious babies.

A few more songs played, and I took another look around to see that practically every seat was taken. Finally, the show was about to start.

Minutes later, as the first presenter spoke, you could feel the emotion in the air. Everyone was focused on the stage and the woman who, at that moment, commanded the microphone. The roar of applause as each speaker finished was the audience's way of thanking each woman for sharing so much of her life with us. For telling us what was inside of her heart.  Not just anyone could get up on stage in front of several hundred people to talk about her family, her kids, her struggles through motherhood.

There were stories that we could all relate to, ones of sleepless babies, sibling tae kwon do classes and family dinner hour gone awry no matter how hard you try. Tales of how hard it is for one mama to drop her preschooler off at school, of how another mom is trying to teach her children that calling someone {or even something} "stupid" is not nice, it hurts feelings, and of how it just may be okay to take your 8-yr old to Hooters for his birthday if he's that persistent about it.

And then there were more unique stories of a child with Autism and his passion for trying his hardest to keep pace with his peers in third grade, of battling and beating cancer to become a stronger person than she'd ever imagined, two separate accounts of miscarriage and how the women were able to mourn their losses and eventually conceive again, giving birth and becoming the mothers they so desperately wanted to be, and a heart-wrenching outpouring of a mother's deep longing, from during her childhood, to just be normal. But then how in the world does a young mother who just lost her 12-yr old son in a tragic accident find normal in the midst of heavy grief?

Each of these stories had the audience captivated during and proud at the end. We laughed out loud, we cried, we nodded in agreement to so many points in the stories we heard.

But how would the audience react to a mother telling her story about how she fought mental illness and won? How, at 26 years old, newly married and climbing the ranks of a successful recruiting career, this young woman crumbled because of a manic breakdown. And when she started picking the pieces up months later, how she faced the reality of countless psychiatrist and therapist appointments trying to figure out just what was wrong with her and how the medication she was on made her so scared she would never be able to have kids that she sunk into the lowest point in her life, a depression that lasted a full year.

I think it would be a gripping story. Especially since I know how it turned out in the end.

But could I actually get up there and tell it to a live audience? That we'll have to wait and see, my friends.

My hope is that with another year of writing under my belt, I'll be that much more confident in my voice and my story.

Because I think it's an important one to tell.