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Perfect Moment Monday: Anticipation

The ambiance in the car is electric, each of us holding pent-up feelings. Tessa is in the back, eager to assume her job of handing out programs and seating people. She’s crimped her hair and carefully picked out her dress and I can’t believe this lovely tween was once a tiny baby I could hold in the crook of an arm.

Sitting next to Tessa is my new friend Stephanie. I haven’t known her long, but I feel I know her intimately. It’s because I have been privy to the amazing piece she is going to read tonight, the one about mommy guilt that is sure to make everyone in the audience nod their heads. A gorgeous and witty woman, Stephanie exudes both confidence and a little nervousness, just like I am probably doing. She tells us that she’s thrilled that her husband and so many of her friends will be at the show, but she’s sad her mom won’t be able to come from out of state.*

Gretchen, my fella**  MileHighMamas writer, is riding shotgun. She looks stunning, even more so than usual. Gretchen has this inner calm, an unflappability, cultivated perhaps by being the mother of 9 children. Yet alongside her zen is the same excitement I’m feeling.

I’m rarely this gussied up. For once, I’m not wearing yoga pants but an outfit that took some actual thought to put together. And heels. For once, I have makeup on, much to Tessa’s delight. For once, I have actually spent time on my hair. All this primping has added to the electricity I’m feeling, the jitters inside my jitters.

I’m driving on I-70 to get us to the Listen To Your Mother Show. Tonight we three will each take our position at the podium and share a 4-minute piece of our lives with an audience of 300. But what is more nausea-inducing is the idea that our show will be taped and put on YouTube in a few months for all the world to see.

We chat as a means to release tension. We talk about wishing we had false eyelashes so we’ll look better on camera. We talk about getting our kids cared for for the evening when all our usual babysitters will be in the audience. We talk about nerves and keeping our voices clear and drinking just the right amount of water, enough to keep our throats in good condition but not enough to have to conspicuously leave the stage during the 90 minute show.

In the midst our sweet anticipation, this curious mixture of anxiety and excitement, an unmistakeable guitar riff comes on the radio, one that takes you right back to wherever you were and whatever you were doing the summer of 1988. “She’s got a smile it seems to me | Reminds me of childhood memories.”

I can’t help myself. I blast Sweet Child o’ Mine (what an apt title for people on their way to a show about mothers and children.) And in spite of having two people in the car whom I normally would not subject to my singing, I blare right along with Axl Rose. I mean top of my lungs blare, singing with wild abandon. Well as much as I can while piloting the Pilot at 35 mph (we have now exited the highway to Colorado Boulevard).

I don’t care what Tessa says (she is protesting madly in the backseat), and I don’t worry what my friends think (maybe they are singing along with me; I’m in my own world so I don’t really know). All I know is that it feels so GOOD to be cruising along on this glorious early spring afternoon with these three young ladies, enjoying a nostalgic and rockin’ song on the radio, heading toward what is sure to be one of the peak nights of my life, all while clearing the cobwebs of my vocal cords.

I know in this moment that I”m having a perfect moment.  All senses converge with clarity and presence. I feel deep gratitude that this is my life.


From later in the evening:

Listen To Your Mother featuring Lori Holden

* Stephanie’s mom later surprises her at the front door to the theater.

** What’s the feminine version of the word “fellow”?


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

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The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin June 23.

You are also invited to click over to Jen Kehl’s Mix Tape Tuesday.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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28 Responses

  1. What an awesome perfect moment! You described it so well, I felt like was there and would have totally been singing along with you! I am so glad you bonded so quickly with your fellow LTYM Denver castmates and look forward to seeing the video of your performance on You Tube!

  2. I wish I had been there in the audience! I can only imagine how this moment of anticipation was also the most perfect of the evening … riding high on the nerves, but also pride, of the moment to come. Amazing. 🙂

  3. Truly a perfect moment, Lori! I can’t wait to watch on YouTube.

    We already have a backseat singalong protestor. 🙂 I still sing.

  4. This: “I feel deep gratitude that this is my life.” YES!!!!! Oh so good. I love what Brene Brown says about “leaning in” to life, especially joy. You were in a wide-arm-embrace of NOW, the place where you were right then, in that moment.

    Thank you for sharing this moment with us, but most of all, thank you for sharing YOU. Excited that you got to present and looking forward to YouTube! 🙂

  5. How can you NOT sing along to Sweet Child O’ Mine? Tessa has some life lessons to learn, but one of them is that she will someday find herself driving in the car, singing along to that song, and remembering when her mom was embarrassing her by singing it as they drove to a special event. (For me, it’s probably Brown-Eyed Girl. Can’t not sing along to that one…)

    I’m sure you and all your fellow* speakers did an awesome job. I hope you had a great time. You looked fantastic.

  6. What a perfect song to be singing at the top of your lungs! How can you NOT sing to it at the top of your lungs.

    I love your description of the events leading up to your special night.

    I’m looking forward to seeing it on Youtube!

  7. Such a great moment indeed! And I loved how you described the atmosphere in the car – so full of excitement and anticipation. And singing along to something can be so liberating – that must have been a great way to release some stress before the performance!

  8. Love love this— and loved seeing you at your very special night and event. Beautiful writing from a beautiful mamma. SInG SING SING… I find that singing at the top of my lungs helps me relax. It’s wonderful!

  9. Lori,
    Singing along to Sweet Child of Mine in a car-full of amazing people sounds like a perfectly perfect awesome moment. I was smiling all throughout this post. You painted such a great picture of your abandonment and glee and I could just see Denver. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that you made me really want to be in that car with you! Thanks so much for allowing me to link up this month.

  10. Lori! How did I not know you were in the Denver LTYM?!?! It makes me feel even more of a connection to you! I LOVED this! And yes, my 3 year old is already protesting my singing too. But singing along to “Sweet Child o’ Mine” is pretty much compulsory in my opinion 🙂 I cannot wait to watch the YouTube video once it’s up.

  11. That was fantastic, Lori! You captured the energy in that car perfectly, and, as it happens, we were both singing along with you! 😉

    An unforgettable moment, indeed. I am honored and delighted that you included me in that post- thank you so very much for that. I share your feelings about the intimate connection we share, thanks to LTYM.

  12. What a perfect moment indeed! It must have been amazing, both the lead up to the show and then standing up there in front of everyone, sharing your words. You looked amazing, by the way, and I’m sure you sounded even better!

  13. Sweet Child O mine is my ringtone for my wife and 3 daughters. I’ve been busted doing the Axl snake dance while looking for my phone.

    please tell me you do the snake dance and the “where do we go now…aye aye aye aye !” parts?

  14. Like how you call them the perfect moment. That’s probably a better way of capturing the memory than I’ve been doing. And why wouldn’t you blast Guns ‘n Roses? That’s what they were made for. 🙂

  15. Congratulations on making the cast of LTYM! It must have been an amazing experience.

    I love singing anything by Guns n Roses. I do a mean Axl Rose and their songs are just a blast to sing. Sweet Child O’ Mine is a favorite. Just sang it with a bunch of friends in a bar (from the table). Good times!

  16. This is awesome! So apt that it was the same bat time as my choice. We are definitely on the same wavelength. I read Stephanie’s piece on the same night, it was cool to hear your perspective too! And way to rock to Axl sister!

  17. Lori, sounds like you did a great job of finding the balance – not just the right amount of water to drink before going on stage, but also a way to maintain but not be overwhelmed by pre-show energy. Way to go 🙂

    I have to confess that I can’t actually quite think of how Sweet Child O’ Mine goes…

    But well done!

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