Josh wasn't able to attend Listen To Your Mother Spokane, and all my relatives, including my own mother, live several hundred miles away; so I climbed the stairs onto the stage that afternoon aware that there would be no one in the audience straightening in their chair as they heard my name. My comped ticket sat un-claimed.
It didn't bother me as much as you are perhaps imagining. I've always been an independent sort, maybe to a fault...no definitely to a fault. Forever holding people at an arms length it's always been easier for me to bare my soul to strangers. Even 100+ strangers. It's the same reasoning that made me completely averted to hiring a doula (something I try to talk every pregnant woman I know into), yet totally comfortable with students sitting in on Zeke's birth.
Standing on my own two legs that day felt natural.
The only part that worried me was the end of the show, when all us readers were expected to form a sort of receiving line. With no one to receive I thought I'd look a bit awkward.
I forgot to take these women into account.
And why oh why do I keep doing that?
And so, Xylina, Tine, Ivory, Michelle, Meghan, Kim, Elizabeth, Aly, Sarah... not all of you were there but each of you has supported me on this and so many other journeys. Even though I sometimes hold you at arms length I want to be sure that you know how much comfort I take in your support, in your advice, in your company, in your pity, and just plain in the knowledge that I'm not the only one awake with a crying baby any given lonely 2am.