Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Being the Mother

Doing Amahl and the Night Visitors was kind of a dream come true for me.

First dress rehearsal--I had to laugh when I saw my makeup design. I look awesome, don't I? At least I didn't have to really worry about hiding the real life dark circles that were under my eyes! I got to accentuate them instead.

Listening to it with my husband and children is one of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions, if not my most favorite. I love Menotti's operas in general, and while my dream role would be Magda in The Consul, playing Amahl's mother was right up there on the list.

IMG_1781 Amahl web
My rags. Of all the roles I've ever played, this is definitely the most raggedy. Pieces of my costume were all over the stage every night.
As it turned out, the character of Amahl's mother is someone I have a lot in common with, which made it even easier to play her. First of all, she is a mother. Her character isn't even given a name beyond that. In the list of characters at the front of the score she is called "His Mother." I just love that. Sometimes I feel that "Mom" is the only name I have, and I certainly feel that it is the most important one.

IMG_1783Amahl web
Me and my Amahl. This girl was FANTASTIC. She has never done anything on the stage before, but she is an incredible musician, singer, and actress. We were so lucky to have her, and she definitely stole the entire show.
As a widowed mother (which I do not have in common with her, thankfully), her entire world is Amahl. She loves this kid more than life itself. And even though she yells at him a lot, and gets frustrated with him and tells him she's going to spank him, she would never in a million years lay a hand on him. He is her everything. It's just that, like a lot of mothers, she's overwhelmed. She's overwhelmed with the task of raising a child, she's overwhelmed with the realization that she doesn't know where their next meal is coming from, she's overwhelmed with trying to get her home ready for unexpected visitors, she's overwhelmed with the need to make life as wonderful as possible for her little boy, and she's overwhelmed with love.

Not so different from most mothers I know.

Amahl on stage web
A picture one of my BFFs caught for me on opening night. I like that The Maestro is in it, too, down in the pit. And see? Amahl's mother is sweeping the floor. Just like every other mother in the history of the world.
At first I thought it was a little strange we were doing Amahl at Easter time, but now I see how it is completely appropriate. When Amahl is healed of being crippled, things change for his mother. She is, of course, amazed by the miracle, but she gradually lets Christ open up her heart and she feels joy--for perhaps the very first time in her difficult life.

I've been working on that. Feeling joy, no matter how overwhelmed I feel or how difficult my life is or how awful my house looks when an unexpected guest shows up. And I've been working on opening my heart to Christ and his healing power.

Speaking of feeling overwhelmed as a mother, and of letting Christ in, I am guest posting today over at Chocolate on my Cranium about that very topic. It is part of a series of guest posts on how to deal with being overwhelmed as mothers. Click HERE to read my post.

More opera moments on Overstuffed:
Dona Nobis Pacem
To Be the Giver of a Gift
My Secret Life

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Motherhood can definitely be overwhelming a lot of the time! This is different for Easter time, but you're right - it is totally appropriate. I agree. Love the pics too, by the way.

  2. Even now, after my boys are grown and on their own, as I sweep the floor, I am reminded of all of the tiny crumbs they used to leave. Beautiful post Lara!

  3. My kids are grown, but I remember.

  4. Beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing! Very lovely

  5. Wow great list! Hoping this helps my add son who can never seem to finish a task. Looks like this will be a great go to check list for him. And the "mommy" clean is perfect.

  6. Mommy clean is so different from kid clean, isn't it!

  7. Not even one bit weird. I make lists for myself like this all the time...too easy to get distracted otherwise. It's how I make things mommy clean. :)

  8. Thanks for stopping by! I hope the check list helps. My daughter has actually added a few things to her list now that I forgot. Like "line-up Monster High Dolls nicely." It makes me happy, because she's getting it. But don't look at her room this morning...

  9. Love this! My kids are getting there with keeping their rooms tidy, but when we get in busy periods and things get messy, a list like this would really help them get the job done!

  10. It's really helped Sophia. She has even added her own things to it!