Are You My Mother?

P.D. Eastman

I have often felt like the little bird in “Are You My Mother” during my adult life. We all know the story line by heart:  A Mama Bird leaves to get her almost-hatched baby bird some food. While she’s gone, he hatches and is anxious to find his mother. He falls out of the nest, onto the ground and begins walking along asking every animal (and one bucket-loading snort) that he comes across, “Are You My Mother?”

“No,” said the kitten. “I’m not your mother.”

“No, I’m not your mother,” said the hen.

And so forth.

To a toddler reading the book, it’s apparently supposed to be comical that a bird thinks other animals might be his mother.

Imposing my adult sensibilities on the little plot, I’ve always found it to be rather agonizing.

And when I say I’ve felt like this little bird as an adult, I don’t mean I’ve been on a desperate quest to find my literal Mother.  My mom and I are like sisters, friends and mother-daughter all in one close relationship. I am not searching for her in any way.

The little bird feeling that I’m talking about has applied to my post first love, pre-marriage dating years and figuring out what I’m supposed to be when I grow up — including what kind of mother.  On the relationship front, for years and years I was looking for the perfect bird and kept dating dogs.

“Are you my soul mate?”

“No, I’m not your soul mate. I’m a dog,” said the dog.

In tandem with the life mate quest was the life purpose quest.

“Are You My Life Purpose?”


“Are You My Life Purpose?”


I mentioned in a previous post that I was an inner-city school teacher right out of college. And that it was an agonizingly painful time in my life when the inner “I can’t do this” voice won.  It was agonizing because I was 100% passionate about the work and felt, at the time, very strongly that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

After the big teaching flop, I spent the next almost 20 years playing it safe and small. I took jobs where I could hide and work behind or support the Mr. or Ms. Bigness of others. I always worked hard and made worthwhile contributions, but I never truly gave it my all.  I looked at people that were living their life passion with zest and tireless dedication and felt so lost in comparison.

Now here I am, turning 40 this year,and I finally know what it feels like to give my all to something and allow myself to be completely vulnerable again in pursuing something I really cared about.

The Mother’s Day release of Sweet Songs was magical.  We sold out the event and had over 300 people in the beautiful Big Red Sun space.  Everyone appeared to be glowing with love and appreciation for the music and the purpose.

We had stories or mentions in a number of Austin publications (sans the family ones – thank you very little), on t.v., radio, and local and national blogs.

Yesterday, I took our CDs to our famous local record store, Waterloo. Any Austinites reading this who missed the Mother’s Day event and would like a copy of Sweet Songs — I highly encourage the Waterloo purchase this week! They’ve got it on sale for $12.99. And if we could sell 40 copies between now and Sunday, we’ll get on their “Top Ten in Texas” list which would be super cool marketing and inspiration for others to check it out and maybe buy it too.  Just sayin’….

Now here’s the funny thing.  In many ways, I found my Mother Bird through the Sweet Songs experience. But it’s not what I thought it was going to be.  All those years I worked in jobs where I avoided leadership and pined away in a cubicle surfing singer-songwriter web sites and wishing I could be so courageous, I might have thought that as soon as I really gave something musical my all — I’d be living my dream.

It was a dream made manifest for sure.  And one of the gifts was coming full circle to realize without any sadness whatsoever that being a singer is not my life purpose. I’ve been asked if there might be a Sweet Songs II album in the future. Maybe so.  I’m open to it! I love the idea of gathering friends together again at some point in the future, pushing myself to write more songs, and finding another cause to support.  I have a hunch it will be easier the second time around because most things in life are.

But in my Little Bird’s quest, Sweet Songs illuminated something else that feels more like that hugging mama bird in your nest,this is where I belong feeling. I learned that I really love community building and that I’m inspired to speak up and speak out on subjects that need more attention and reflection in our world.

Sweet Songs also gifted me with the perspective that at this moment in time I’d like to give the Sweet Songs energy back to my marriage and to my sweet girls — the original inspiration for it all.

TWO quick news flashes before I go to bed!  More on both later…

1)  I finally got a job! The Universe was so gracious to give this to me the day after Mother’s Day.  Yay Whole Foods!!

2) Results of the Fantasy versus Honesty inner debate:  The Fairies win!!

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8 Responses to “Are You My Mother?”

  1. Dawn says:

    Congratulations, Monica!! On the success of the release and on getting a job! Wonderful news.

    I know who you are.
    You are not a kitten.
    You are not a dog.
    You are not a plane, a boat, or a snort.
    You are Monica. And you are my hero.

    • Monica says:

      You are the best Dawn. Thank you for this! I wish we could see you in a few weeks. Not psyched to bring family to TJ though….. I LOVE YOU!!!!

  2. Mom says:

    Beautiful! Your writing touches my heart. And thank you for the wonderful things you said about our relationship. I love you so much.

  3. chelsea says:

    Yay for a job with such impeccable timing! And I do have to admit I was rooting for the fairies:) xoxo

  4. amy says:

    Awesome! Your story brought a few tears to my eyes…


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