Friday, July 10, 2015

Her Name's Not Ma'am...It's Mom!

When my now 20 year-old son was four, we were checking out at the grocery and the sweet, unknowing teenaged girl said "Thank you Ma'am!" Promptly, my scrappy little blonde-haired boy whizzed around and looked the teenager in the eye, announcing: "Her name's not Ma''s MOM!" He continued to completely wrap me around his finger and make me proud to be a MOM.

Last May I told you about the Listen To Your Mother show, of which I was very honored be a part. Little did I know the depth of 13 completely unique speeches about motherhood would profoundly affect not only the audience, but create a bond, even sisterhood, among the cast and crew. The women in this diverse cast shed their protective shields and revealed their hearts, which are fragile, yet framed in steel casing. They shared stories, opinions, wishes and dreams. The talented director, Kate McKinney, and producer, Hillary Melchiors, molded the tender words of these remarkable women into a production that moved an audience of over 300 to tears, cheers and laughter. 
I hope you will set aside the time to view (and share) this incredible show. Thank you ladies for this life experience!

 Back row from left: Cristine Dawson, Laura Lukens, Amy Miller, Tracy Bertram, Ange Humphrey, Hillary Melchiors, Lanea Stagg, Mary Rose Stewart, Mary Edwards, Ashley Risinger, Katharine McKinney. Front Row from Left: Kristina Burnett, Stacey Godbold, Amy Magan.

The video for the show debuts today! You may tune in to the show (it's about 90 minutes) at this link. The speeches are numbered in order of appearance:

My speech is reprinted below and I'd be delighted for you to share it with a mom. Motherhood isn't always roses and sunshine. It's pretty tough work and the salary isn't commensurate with experience. Many times throughout my life I've heard mothers say "I'm just a mom," as if they have no value on their position in life. As you will see throughout my speech, I am in awe of the broad spectrum of knowledge that mother figures collect. My husband also pointed out that you also can't learn all of those educational points in a mere four years. It is my hope that the speech and the LTYM show will touch many hearts.

As the mother of three children and the step-mother of five, my strong opinion is motherhood is the most important role in our universe.  There isn’t enough education or advice to prepare one for this vocation. Once you have served, you will have a title behind your name that cannot be earned at any educational institution.

Our society has progressed into a highly-educated generation of people who know a lot of information and are paid insane amounts of money to be specialists in fields that didn’t even exist 20 years ago!  But in this “brave new world,” many women (and even men who fill a maternal role) are de-valued in their position as “Mother” because they do not hold a fancy, schmancy degree.  Is that what our society has come to?  We must have a label in order to have an identity?  In order to gain approval & praise? Do we have to prove ourselves on paper?  Why do women shrug and say “I’m just a mom?”

How does someone with a doctoral degree in biostatistics prepare for situations such as handling a screaming 4-year-old who wipes fresh boogers on brand new full grain leather car interior? No amount of study can prepare you for that!

I believe if a degree in motherhood were to be offered, it would be called a degree in Maternology. (Yes, I created that new word, and as far as I’m concerned, it should really should be the next buzz word…. Maternology!)

By definition this degree is earned by preparing for and participating in the art of motherhood. You earn it by immersion in the intense study of children.

The new degree will be credited in several schools and here’s a sample of course offerings:

Finance and Business including budgeting targets, planning and fiscal management;
Criminal Justice – including interrogation, negotiation, torture, and sentencing!
Mechanics & Plastics engineering;
Sanitation (enough said!)
Communication – including speech (with focus on the important use of tone and body language). This would also encompass studies in manners, telemarketing, fundraising, and customer service.
Interior design  …. and stain removal;
Science Technology, Food and Nutrition – including culinary pediatric art theory;
Medical Studies – including triage, pre-diagnosis, allergy detection, nursing, biomedical hazard removal, sport injuries, physical therapy, psychiatric evaluations, and ongoing research studies;
Transportation Industry – including automobile mechanics, design, and maintenance as well as transportation instruction with emphasis in strategic maneuvers;
Cosmetology – including hair and fashion management, hair styling, massage and fingernail maintenance & design;
Tailoring – including costume design;
Computer Science – with ongoing in-service research and application;
Religion, Psychic Predictions, Meteorology, Philosophy, Time Management, and the all important:  Art of Saying No….to small, hungry children holding candy bars and toys at the supermarket checkout line;
In truth, I have earned my master’s degree in all of these areas of education with emphasis in the entertainment industry, including memorization of all Nickelodeon & Star Wars characters and theme songs and the lyrics to every song on the Top Forty.  I’ve become well-versed in vacation research and application, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduation parties.
Somehow along the way – a way filled with snow days, long car rides, and excruciating waits in doctor offices – I’ve triumphed in home maintenance, electrical engineering, plumbing, conservation, and environmental issues. I tackled extensive studies in music and art.  But most importantly, I’ve delved, time and again, into unconditional love. And that love deserves a golden seal in an elegant frame.


"Wine Over Water" 
at Blue Heron Winery 5330 Blue Heron Lane (on the hill), Rocky Point IN 
THIS Saturday, July 11, 2015 (tomorrow!)
featuring jazz phenom 
  Music 6:- 8: pm Central Time 
Artist/Illustrator Jon Fuchs and Author Lanea Stagg 
will be there with art and book exhibits and to sign their recent collaboration, 
Little Dog in the Sun 
(a touching story about loss and love)
PLUS, they are bringing Ava, the little dog, herself!!!
Bring a lawn chair, meet the artists and enjoy a great evening of music overlooking the Ohio River! 
Foods by "Rudy's Catering" 
Wines by Blue Heron :) 


Stay up on all the news AND participate in the many contests that are coming up! Very cool things happening with John Lennon Series author, Jude Southerland Kessler and Nicole at 910 Public Relations. Congrats to Lori-Anne Malonson won a cool Ringo Starr prize this week from 910 Public Relations!

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Lanea Stagg
facebook: RecipeRecords Cookbook (send request)
twitter: @RecipeRecords


Katy B said...

LOVE IT, Lanea! I've only read the words so far but will check out the video another time. You are awesome, woman. :)

Lanea Stagg said...

Thank you Katy----I feel the same about you!