Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

Radio Diaries Live at the Moth

If you’re a longtime listener to this show, you probably know that Radio Diaries began back in the 1990s with a NPR series called Teenage Diaries. I gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country and asked them to document their lives. One of those original teens was Melissa Rodriguez. At the time, she was 18 years old, and about to become a mother.

Melissa brought us along as she learned to be a mom to her baby boy, Issaiah. Motherhood was something she had to figure out on her own. Growing up, Melissa’s own mother was largely absent from her life. By the time she was 15 years old, Melissa had been in eight foster homes, five residential youth facilities, and seven group homes.

16 years after her story first aired on NPR, I gave Melissa a tape recorder again, so she could record a new audio diary about her life. She had gone from being a teen mom, to the mom of a teen.

When our friends at the storytelling show, The Moth, heard Melissa’s new diary, they invited her to tell a story on stage at BAM.

For Mother’s day, we’re bringing you Melissa’s story, as she told it live at The Moth.

To hear Melissa’s audio diaries, listen to episode three of the Radio Diaries Podcast.

The Radio Diaries Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

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