Category Archives: parenting

Concert 31- Los Angeles, California August 9, 2009

April. the Mom from Chicago. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be in touch in the next few weeks


Concert 31- Los Angeles, California
August 9, 2009

The Jonas Brothers are a back drop for my life. By creating music and concerts they have opened a place for me to experience life. I may go to hundreds of Jonas Brothers concerts in my life and I may never get closer to them than third row in the middle section of the stage. In that seat, I locked eyes with each of them and I sent them joy, love and gratitude. I am complete.

This was never about meeting them. It was about the music and the community and the heart centeredness. It has been a journey of healing, connecting and expanding.

What is most important to me today is the experience I am having with you. Something really amazing happened yesterday. It was a powerful example of what I am talking about here.

First part of story:

It all started with losing my phone on August 8 during the Verizon wireless in-store event for Honor Society and The Wonder Girls. I had so many bags and stuff, it probably flipped out of the bag. Verizon may have even thought it was one of the donations of old cell phones they were collecting on that day.

Second part of the story:

On August 8 in the evening-11pm , there was A Full Moon Crazy concert with Honor Society at Club Nokia. Honor Society put on an amazing show. The Jonas Brothers stopped by to sing, “Close the Book,” with HS and Jordin Sparks popped in, too. It was like hanging out with them in an intimate, high energy environment. If you have a chance to see Honor Society on the tour, you can find the information on

Before the show started, I asked two young women about the logistics of the stage. They didn’t know, but we started a conversation about where we were from and concerts we had attended and more. At one point, there was a connection when we talked about the concerts in Chicago and I told them my daughter and I were going to 45 concerts. They stopped in mid-sentence, got excited, knew the story and called their mom, April over and the other sister. Three sisters who were going to a few concerts this summer with their Mom.

(They sang at a soundcheck and when I find the link I will post in. More details will be added in Sept.)

We had such a great conversation about our daughters and the connecting we can do with them by going to the concerts and sharing this experience. I found another soul sister, in the mom, April, who understood.

They had two tickets to sell for the next day. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but we have reached a point where we are looking for cheap tickets every day. We are not trying to take advantage of anyone. It is just part of our journey right now. April gave me her phone number and we said we would call about the tickets the next morning after looking at our budget.

Third part of the story:

The next morning, Hannah and I looked at the money we had, calculated the gas, food, and tickets for the next two concerts and realized we had $100 total to spend on tickets for the LA show. I called April on Hannah’s phone, let her know our budget and thanked her for the ticket offer, but we didn’t have enough money. April decided that she didn’t have time to sell them to anyone else and would sell them to us for the $100. We agreed to meet at the venue that evening. She had Hannah’s cell phone. Mine was still lost.

Fourth part of the story:

A friend of Hannah’s, Jade, sent her a tweet. She had an extra ticket to the Teen Choice Awards. Jonas Brothers were hosting. Honor Society was presenting an award. And Jordin Sparks and everyone else was there in the audience. It was a crazy night with the Teen Choice Awards and a concert going on, too.

I dropped Hannah off at Universal for the Teen Choice Awards. It is 20 minutes from the Staples Center. She was texting Jade and Rosie and was waiting for them outside of the Awards Show.

In the meantime, I backtracked to see if I could find my phone. Church parking lot, asked the attendant. Coffee shop. Verizon Wireless store. No, no, no. Verizon staff convinced me to turn off my phone so no one can use. it. They turned off the wrong phone. Hannah was at the teen choice awards and her phone service was cut off before connecting with friends. (It took a week for us to find out that Hannah’s phone was cut of instead of mine, not in addition to mine!)

Finally, the point of the story and the lasered details for the ending:

I didn’t have a phone. Hannah’s phone was cut off. But, she had April’s cell phone number because of the ticket conversation. Hannah borrowed someone’s phone. Called April in tears. April reached out to her with nurturing and a solution (offered to pay for a cab and meet her.) Hannah met up with friends 10 minutes later, called April back. All is well.

I heard the a part of the story from April but did not know the whole story until Hannah arrived at the Staples Center a few hours later. April gave us the tickets. I gave her a copy of my book. She gave me a CD of music (more on this in the fall when I highlight some musicians and bands we met this summer.)

I have been a mother for 25 years. When one of my children are hurt or in danger, I get a strong feeling of fear. I did not feel that with Hannah on that day. I felt that April had been placed in our lives as a protector, a safety net, a person who could support Hannah in the moment.

While I waited for Hannah to arrive at the Staples Center my heart was not fully into the music or the dancing or even in the meet and greet I went to for Jordin Sparks. They were all things that occupied my time. I kept breathing and dancing and trusting that she would be okay. And she arrived in time for Jonas. We connected and I hugged the stuffing out of her!!!

Sometimes as a single parent, I have felt that I am all alone. I have felt that there is no one else who can love Hannah enough to support her, nurture her or guide her. In this moment with April, a Mom from Chicago, I am glad that I was wrong. We are all supported Divinely with the perfect person in the perfect timing for everything.

It was also a lesson for me that I am not alone and I can depend on other people to help mentor and nurture my daughter.

A celebration of transformation with Dramatic Adventure Theatre

Today’s jonas watch is sponsored by Dramatic Adventure Theatre.

For sponsorship information go to


Yesterday, I skipped a Jonas Brothers concert in Uniondale, NY to spend the day at the Richmond Shepard Theatre in NYC watching plays. The plays were a reflection of a year long project from an organization called Dramatic Adventure Theatre. My daughter, Mary, age 25 and her fiance, Jesse, age 28 are the creators and owners of this company.

A year ago, they decided to expand the organization to create a program for college students and theater artists. 75 people participated in this program. Groups of students and artists went to Ecuador for several weeks. It was a cross cultural program that included service projects, art workshops and the creation of a piece of theater that reflected something about the experience for them.

I watched nine short plays yesterday. Each one so powerful that I could barely speak without sobbing. The last two years, I watched Mary and Jesse perform a theater piece with several actors after visiting Zimbabwe and Ecuador. I always thought that I cried because I knew them and I could see and feel their transformation. I knew who they were before the trip and I saw how they had changed from going to the different countries.

Last night the tears came because I could feel the transformation that had happened for each of the groups. It was palpable. Transformation was oozing from their bodies as they relived their experiences by putting them into an expression of music, dance, and words.

I am still so moved by what I saw that the words of the experience for me are not fully formed.

In the beginning of this blog today, I said it was a year long project, but it was really a project that they had been preparing for all of their lives.

I can remember a night when I was really sick twenty years ago. A flu, high fever type of illness. I had worked all day, picked up Mary, age 5 and Liz, age 3 from day care and all I wanted to do was fall into bed. It was only 6 or 7 pm, too early for Mary who could barely settle down at 10pm (she is still a night owl!) I popped a video into the VHS player, Mary Poppins. I gave her some instruction like, let me know when the movie is over or climb in bed when the movie is over. Something like that. I was delirious with fever that night.

Around 3 am, I rolled out of bed to check on her. There was Mary in the living room. A stack of musical VHS tapes on the couch, some dress up clothes, an open umbrella and Mary with a huge smile on her face.

What can I say, the kid ALWAYS loved theater!

In high school, Mary was the President of Future Business Leaders of America. In college, she studied Theater, Business and Communications. In her last semester of college, she told me that she was interested in doing something with children’s theater.

Then, she met Jesse who had his own path of discovering creativity as a middle school student who thrived in the arts. He had a journey of overcoming shyness to step into a bolder role for himself in the world. He has an idea of traveling to different countries and doing theater with children. A discussion with a friend a few years ago, came back as a challenge to do it. He came up with the name Dramatic Adventure. And when he and Mary partnered, each brought the life experience and skills to make this happen.

Throughout their lives, both of their families traveled and demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, a love of adventure, an openness to trying new things. We provided a “container or space” that nurtured this spirit in them. With their family in the audience last night, we cheered them on to the finish line.

Yes, we provided the container and they did the work. They combined their passions, interests and hard work. They made the phone calls, stayed up late at night, took the financial, emotional and physical risks. They had roadblocks, doubts, hurdles to jump over. They had inspiration, moments of perfection and the determination to work through every challenge. They DID it!

And in their willingness to leap, they have created a place of transformation and awakening to 75 people who now know more about themselves. They are now bringing that awareness back to their families, their communities and their work. It is a ripple effect.

As I travel with Hannah to Jonas Brothers concerts, I do not know what the impact will be on our lives in the future. But, I am aware that the people we are meeting through the blogs and at the concerts we are all touching each other, awakening something in us and leading us on a path to somewhere.

For each person, I have met and conversed with, I want you to know that the 5 minute conversations in line for the bathroom, the sharing of our stories in between sets, dancing together, and of course, the hugs, are touching Hannah and me. We carry you with us in our hearts, our conversations and into our experiences.

And as I watched Jesse and Mary last night, closing the evening with words of gratitude, I was moved by the infinite possibilities that await us all. One step at a time.

I AM the MOM

Today’s Blog is sponsored by Evolutionary Women

For more information on becoming a sponsor go to


I am the mother. At night, I dance and sing and clap and cheer at the concerts. I talk with people and I have a good time.

During the day I plan out the next day’s drive. I look a week or so in advance and arrange places to stay.

I make phone calls back to Baltimore. Checking with my friend, Karen who is handling details at my house. A radiator pipe started to drip. A contract on the house not working out. I look at the bank account and calculate how many concerts we can plan in advance. I arrange the food, fill the gas tank, anticipate the next oil change, review the weather.

It is an honor to be of service. And at the same time, I am walking a new path for myself. I am sending e-mails to authors from our book Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. I e-mail around the authors around country while I support my daughter in her dream. She is amazing! I watch her determination with the blogs and answering e-mails. It is my joy.

And everyday I ask myself, what is my purpose? Am I here only to support her dream or am I also laying a foundation for me?

There is a balancing act for most mothers. The question I have asked myself many times, “When am I me and when am I a part of “she.” When am I the mother and when am I a separate person, named Andrea.

The first time I fully realized this loss of identity was when my oldest daughter was about two years old. I was sitting in the baby pool at a public pool and the mothers and fathers began to introduce themselves, sort of. The questions focused on the children. Words like, “ahhhh, she is so cute. How old is she? What’s her name?” No one asked about my life, my interests, even my name!

It was okay at first. I adored her, my daughter, Mary and then Liz, Cooper and Hannah. I loved to talk about them, my bundles of joy. I still love to talk to them and about them. They are all amazing individuals. (Cooper died in 1993. A story for another day.)

As the mother, I was identified as Mary’s Mom, Liz’s Mom and now Hannah’s Mom. No one knew my name. A N D R E A …

So, what does this have to do with the concerts? Hannah and I lead separate but intertwined lives this summer. I am known as Hannah’s Mom at the concert venue or as the mother who is traveling to 45 concerts with her daughter.

I am thrilled to support her and I am aware of the things I put aside every day. The book draft from last summer that is waiting for the submission paperwork to an editor, the six blogs in draft form that I haven’t had time to finish because I am running the errands, doing the driving, coordinating the next places to stay. Paying the bills, finding the food, cleaning the car. And as thrilled as I am to support her and watch her and love her, I have moments of asking, what’s in it for me? Like Kevin Costner in the Field of Dreams, I am brought to the edge every day financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually.

I am not complaining. I am bringing into awareness the needs that must be met in some way or I will become resentful. I am aware that I love the concerts, the Jonas Brothers, Honor Society, the Wonder Girls and Jordin Sparks. I am aware that I love the journey with my daughter. I love the driving, the traveling, the listening and something is stirring in me. Words that must be written. A path that is opening for me.

In this awareness, I am sitting in a Panera Bread location in Baltimore this morning. With all of the errands that still need my attention and getting Hannah to the Honor Society Verizon event early, I am taking 30 minutes to drink a cup of coffee and write a blog for me.

I must have my own individualized expression. Sometimes the only way to get it is to decide and to commit to a time for me. I am letting go once again to trust that everything will happen today in the perfect timing.

All is well.