Last year, I knew it would be my last Mother’s Day with my mom. She had been going down hill for a couple years with a myriad of diseases and ailments…cancer, kidney failure, depression, back pain, a couple episodes of gout, you name it, she was dealing with it. And at the age of 91, she was done fighting. We talked openly about the end of her life, and she told us how grateful she was to have lived a full, happy life until she lost her independence and health. We didn’t want her to suffer anymore, physically or mentally, and she worried everyday that she was a burden to me. It was cathartic for me to write her eulogy a few days before she died. I wrote a lot about my mom over the years, and many of the stories appear in my book Mishegas of Motherhood. Where do you think I got the mishegas from? This piece was the most recent one I wrote about my mom, when her lymphoma came back on my 50th bday. I guess you could say I was prepared to lose my mom, my best friend. And then again, I wasn’t.
What’s better than Mother’s Day? How about Mother’s Month? Seriously, I’m considering petitioning Hallmark to officially expand this national holiday for the entire month of May. Who’s with me?
St. Louis women can celebrate motherhood with a variety of exciting events and activities that stretch beyond that single Sunday in May.
Mark your calendars and get ready for some serious fun:
Thursday, May 2, 7-9 p.m.
The Crescent in Clayton, 155 Carondelet Plaza
The month of May kicks off with Mama-Palooza, featuring former St. Louisan Melissa Gerststein, co-founder of The Moms, and the hilarious New York Times bestselling author Jill Smokler, “Scary Mommy” blogger, who is stopping here on her whirlwind book tour of her newest release, “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and other vicious lies).”
Leave it to the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) to host a Girl’s Night Out that brings us together for nibbles and giggles, while raising money to help local children. You’re invited to nosh on drinks and appetizers, win prizes, and laugh at the parenting sagas of these two famous funny ladies, while benefiting NCJW’s Back-to-School Store, which provides school supplies and new clothing to 4,000 elementary and middle schoolers in eight area public schools and the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.
RSVP: www.ncjwstl.org or call 314-993-5181.
Spa for The Soul
Sunday, May 5, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
The Chesterfield Art Center, 444 Chesterfield Center, Suite 130
The Jewish Women’s Chai Circle hosts the second annual Spa for the Soul, featuring the ultimate day of pampering. Guests will enjoy mini mani-pedis, massages, health and beauty demos, crafts, raffles, a delicious kosher brunch, and so much more. The highlight of the event is a laughter therapy workshop led by stand-up comedian and actress Esther Rachel Russell, who will show us why laughter is the best medicine. Russell began her improvisational comedy career at the famous Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles, where she wrote and performed in comedy sketches with the “Saturday Night Live” comedy stars.
Founder and artistic director of the all-female comedy improve troupe, “Woman Gone Mad,” Russell has performed in the acclaimed off Broadway comedy, “A Match made in Manhattan-The Interactive Jewish Wedding.”
See you at the spa, and get ready to feel beautiful inside and out.
RSVP: www.ChabadofChesterfield.com/spa or call 636 778 4000.
Listen To Your Mother
Saturday, May 11, Showtimes 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
St. Luke’s Institute for Health Education
232 South Woods Mill Road
This special Mother’s Day celebration is not to be missed, and I’m not just saying that because I’m co-producing/directing the inaugural show in St. Louis. Listen To Your Mother St. Louis, which is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, is part of a national series of live readings that features some of our area’s most talented writers and bloggers, as well as everyday people who have an amazing story to share. Proudly, St. Louis is one of 24 cities across the country to host a production that is produced, directed, and performed by local communities for local communities.
Fifty percent of our ticket sales benefit Connections to Success (CtS), a local nonprofit organization that helps break the cycle of poverty through hope, resources, and a plan. CtS will be at the show with their Mystique Boutique, a mobile upscale shop that sells designer clothing and accessories to raise money for their programs.
I promise, you will laugh, you will cry, you will be transformed by this national movement that gives moms a microphone. Our show also features refreshments, live jazz music, prizes, shopping, and more surprises. Plus, Virginia Kerr, of Great Day St. Louis, is our emcee, so you don’t want to miss out. Bring your family and friends, and start a new Mother’s Day tradition in St Louis.
Also worth mentioning…Spring is in the air, and the Lou has plenty of outdoor fun, too. For example:
Laumeier Art Fair is a nationally acclaimed fine art and craft fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park, one of the world’s premier open-air museums. This popular annual event, which is held on Mother’s Day weekend, features creative and original works of art from 150 artists from across the country, not to mention food, drink, and musical entertainment.
For an old-fashioned good time with your family, visit Eckert’s and enjoy strawberry picking, wagon and pony rides, live entertainment, and, of course, festival foods like funnel cakes and frozen custard.
If beer is your choice of beverage, the St. Louis Microfest is for you. This premiere event offers samples of international and craft beers, live music, silent auction, and plenty of food to make you thirsty for a cold brew. Profits benefit Lift For Life Gym, which provides supervised and safe activities for children eight to 18 years old, five evenings a week, all free of charge.
Got a green thumb? Shaw Nature Reserve and several nurseries from throughout the area will offer hundreds of varieties of annual and perennial wildflowers, ferns, trees and shrubs to use in home landscaping and to attract wildlife. The sale will feature the showiest and hardiest native plants for sun or shade, including purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, blazing star, dwarf crested iris, cardinal flower, compass plant, wild phlox, ostrich fern, bottle-brush buckeye, fringe tree and short-leaf pine.
And for all us dog lovers, the annual Bark in the Park promises a day of fun for both dogs and their owners. As the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Humane Society of Missouri, this annual festival features a one-mile pet walk and 5K run in Forest Park. After you work up a sweat, enjoy a full day of entertainment and favorite foods like funnel cakes, kettle corn and fresh squeezed lemonade.
Enjoy your Mother’s Day Month! You deserve it!
St. Louis is one of 24 cities hosting Listen To Your Mother (LTYM), a national series of live readings shared on local stages and via social media in celebration of Mother’s Day, and YOU can be part of this heartwarming, hilarious, and humanitarian event. In fact, without YOU, there would be no show. So please start writing and send us your submissions by February 15. Keep in mind, your piece should be no longer than 4-7 minutes when read out loud. Auditions will be held February 28, 7-9 p.m. and March 2, noon-3 p.m.
You DON’T’ have to call yourself a writer. You DON’T have to be a professional speaker. You DON’T even have to be a mom.
You DO have to write an original essay about anything related to motherhood. You DO have to speak in front of a live audience who will clap for you and make you feel like a celeb. You DO want to touch the lives of many people and make a difference in the community. You DO want to have an experience that you’ll never forget.
Born of the creative work of mothers who publish online, LTYM is produced and directed by local moms and is performed by local communities, for local communities. Our beneficiary is Connections To Success, a local nonprofit group that breaks the cycle of poverty one family at a time through programs, hope, and resources.
As a producer/director of the show, I’m thrilled to be associated with the LTYM family and, most of all, to put St. Louis in the spotlight and raise money for a great cause. I’m working with a powerhouse team of talented St. Louis moms: Suzanne Tucker, Laura Edwards Ray, and Naomi Francis.
Our show will be held in the beautiful auditorium/atrium at St. Luke’s Health Education Institute, 232 South Woods Mill Road, in Chesterfield, MO, on the Saturday of Mother’s Day, which is May 11. So mark your calendars!
Here’s important dates to remember:
February 15: Deadline for submission. Send your story to LTYMSTL@gmail.com.
February 28, 7-9 p.m.: First day of audition
March 2, noon-3 p.m.: Second day of audition
May 11: Showtimes are 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m.
So c’mon St. Louis, let your voice be heard. It’s time to give Mother’s Day a microphone.