August 6, 2011

Motherhood: Is There Any Extra Credit For This?

Motherhood: Is There Any Extra Credit For This? starts at the :59 mark 

Behind the scenes of Listen To Your Mother with Elizabeth Chatwell...

Liz Chatwell is “MMMMOMMMM!!!” to two boys: Max (10) & Owen (6). She is a 20+ year veteran teacher at Kouts High School, where her sophomores and seniors appreciate her sarcasm and powerful ability to wield a red pen. In her free time, she reads, watches “Grey’s Anatomy”. She collects yarn, drinks wine, and wears yoga pants. Liz draws strength and courage from God, her family, and her amazing friends. She is still searching for balance, a steaming hot latte, and happily-ever-after. (And, after Listen To Your Mother, she finally started a blog: Yelling With My Heart.) (You should totally subscribe.)

Thoughts from Liz: "I cannot begin to express how A. MAZE. ING. this experience was. First, I had to WRITE something... hadn't happened in years. The challenge of that alone was worth it. I may teach writing, I may know what good writing looks like, but to have someone JUDGE my own writing, question its' worth??, that was scary and exhilarating and made me feel so ALIVE!!

Second, the sheer terror of "will I be chosen?" You know... that same feeling you had standing in a long line on the kickball field during gym class. Third, I WAS CHOSEN!! "What have I done??" Fourth, meeting the people.

Fifth, reading my piece in FRONT of these new people who I don't know and who don't know me and what if they judge? Sixth, reading in front of an audience... WOW.

I have never liked spotlights.  I enjoy entertaining, making others laugh, but I NEED to see faces, eyes, hearts, to feel comfortable doing that.  Spotlights block out everyone but the front row. Blinding. Definitely uncomfortable. Lastly, the connections...not just with the cast and with other mothers, but with the entire audience. Everyone connected. Everyone understood. We were absolutely embraced. Thank you Steph, for such an amazing experience."

A little background from Steph: "I met Liz at the Listen To Your Mother auditions via a mutual friend who- oh boy-, I haven't discussed this here yet but, I did have someone assisting me with the show and auditions, and she became too ill to help while fighting her cancer. Samantha Uphold told me about Liz the moment we began plans for Listen To Your Mother in Valparaiso. Samantha wouldn't even be able to make it through the first audition day and that was the last time I saw her. She passed away one month after our production. I miss her dearly. She was the very first person I told I was going to do Listen To Your Mother. I am so thankful she brought Liz and I together. But I wish she was still here lighting up this earth.

I have to say that since the show, Liz's piece has stuck with me the most, possibly because I feel like it encompassed everything I felt Listen To Your Mother was about. It was real, it was moving, and it was- and is- motherhood, and life. I keep your words with me, Liz and hear them ringing in my mind many days. You got me."

Every Sunday I'm featuring a "behind the scenes" of each Listen To Your Mother Valparaiso/NW Indiana piece. You can watch the entire show on the Listen To Your Mother Show YouTube channel here or see each piece listed and linked here and here.


  1. I loved Liz's piece. I could relate to the teaching aspect, but she had the perfect mix of wit, laughter, and sadness--just like life.

  2. Thanks, Steph! LTYM was one of the BEST things I have EVAH. DONE. I encourage EVERYONE to write his/her story...we all have one. Thank you for believing in me. And yes, I miss her too...every day.


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