Friday, May 7, 2010

thanks mom.

Listening To: Julia by The Beatles
Wondering if: anybody has listened to the Courtyard Hounds CD? Your thoughts?

How did Friday get here already? I've been (happily) cooped up in The Cave of Solitude trying to finish something new. This morning, I emerged. I drove to Starbucks with the window down, and listened to Bob Dylan, and thought about all the gorgeous dream houses you wrote about on the last post. (I haven't replied to all the comments yet, but I will!) I think we should all live on the same imaginary street.

... And then it occurred to me I hadn't blogged in a week. In the words of a wise old sage: time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future.

This week it seems only appropriate to write about my mom. You would love my mom. She's extremely funny. She's so witty that sometimes I don't get her jokes until I think about them. (Which I suppose means I'm the unfunny one ... :). Here are some more fun facts about my mom:

* She would rather be outdoors than indoors. I've never seen anybody work magic with plants the way my mom can. If she's around a plant, it will grow to it's brightest and best. Whereas, if I am around a plant, it droops.

* Her favorite movie is Babe. Her favorite song (I think) is "Pieces of April" by Three Dog Night. (If not that, it would be "Shackles" by Mary Mary.) Her favorite author is Kate DiCamillo. Actually, she would say that her favorite author is me, but I'm passing the honor to Kate.

* My mom loves to read her Bible. Like, loves it loves it. Sometimes I flip through her Bible just because it makes my heart feel so light. She's uses colored pencils to study and she studies a lot. Her Bible looks like a sunrise when I open it. When I was in high school, my mom gave me a hot pink Bible and taught me a really cool study method that I still use. I will never, ever be able to retain information the way she does though. Fun fact: one time my mom called into the radio station and answered a really obscure Old Testament question they thought nobody could answer. She won free tickets to Dollywood. Nothing says "love thy neighbor" like funnel cake.

* My mom is so pretty. I tell her she's pretty like a folk song. She drives with the windows down and doesn't care if she gets her hair messed up. She's not uptight. She doesn't give a hoot about trends. Also, she has great skin. I hope this is hereditary ...

* She's assertive. This is something I really wish I had in common with my mom and sister. They're very confident without being remotely cocky. I'm more of a pushover, a little bit timid when I don't need to be.

* She's "mom" to me and the sibs, "mamaw" to her grandkids, "Aunt Lainey" to my cousins, "Lainey" to Dad, and "Alpha Granny" to Biscuit (heh ;). But I know several women around my age who seek out my mom for advice too. She's a rock for so many people. She used to teach a young women's Sunday School class and it was pretty much the place to be. Eventually she had to change the name because women both young and young-at-heart wanted to be in there. She's an awesome teacher and a great friend. I'm cool with sharing my mom, as long as people realize I get her for lunch and hang-out time on Saturday ...

* A story: once, in high school, I went to the movies with my mom. She got popcorn. The (cute) guy behind the counter said, "Would you like butter?" Mom looked at me and said, "Is butter okay with you?" And then she said, very loudly, so loud it sounded like she was making an announcement on the intercom, "Or does butter give you gas?"


Seriously though. I was not a low-maintenance child. I wasn't super-hyper or rude or any spazzier than any other little kid. But I was born with a bone disease that really rocked my mom and dad's world. I was ten weeks old the first time I broke my leg and, from that point on, there was a fracture once or twice a year. I spent lots of time in hospitals when I was little, and then months after that in a cast. Those are foggy memories for me; I remember when they happened, but I don't remember many details (which I'm grateful for). Now that I am an adult, I often wonder how hard that would be on a parent: to watch a kid walk around, and fall (for seemingly no reason), and break. Then go to the hospital. Then watch while they get that bone set (which sucks). Then go through whatever comes next: surgery, therapy, casts, wheelchairs and walkers. I've seen pictures of my mom rocking me to sleep when I was a baby, even though I had a cast that came up past my waist. Sometimes my dad would drive all the way from Lexington (where he contracted at the time) to Knoxville (which was the hospital close to where we lived) just to kiss me good-night.

They're wonderful people, is all I'm trying to say.

Those were not easy years, but if they ever wondered why it had to happen to them, I never heard them wonder. I only heard them applauding every time I tried something new - every time I clunked my walker out on stage to give a speech, every time I made it a day without losing five minute of recess because bffMelanie and I talked when we weren't supposed to, and every time I made them sit and listen to a new "book" I'd written. (And then charged them $2 for an autographed copy.)

I read a quote by Toni Morrison once, where she said the only reason she became a writer is because of the look on her dad's face when she read him a new story. I can understand that. Without my parents, I don't think I would have ever had enough courage to pursue this crazy life I love so much. I wouldn't have had the courage to do tons of things. Not only did they teach me how to walk (over and over again) but they taught me to look at the world and try to figure out a way I could make it a little bit brighter.

On my big, long, high-as-the-sky, round-the-world list of reasons I have to be thankful, they're at the top. I'm really grateful I get to be their daughter.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! (FYI: Popcorn does not give me gas.) (Often.)

I hope you'll brag about your mom, your grandmother, or whoever filled that role in your life in the comments. (And Happy Mothers Day to you sassy-awesome moms out there!)


  1. i just discovered Courtyard Hounds today and I'm not a fan. It's ok, not great. I'm a huge dixie chicks fan so i had high expectations for them, which they did not meet. oh well. maybe i'll start to like them after i listen a few more times. i always like things better the third time around!

    your mom sounds pretty amazing; i'd love to meet her! :) My mom and I are very, well, different, but I still love her. She's very funny and always helps me de-stress and will always sit with me and speak kindly even when i yell. and she's a wonderful cook!

  2. Yesterday, we were having lunch with some friends. And one of my friend's told my sister and I that our mom was so cool. And in the back of my head, I'm like yeah, she is. Like really, I have a cool mom, but not so cool that it's weird, she doesn't dress like she's in high school and she has problems with technology, ya know the normal mom stuff. But what it comes down to is that she's cool.

  3. AWW!! Your Mom sounds amazing!! Love the little stories too =]

    My Momma is an amazing woman! She is funny, cute, she'll dance to every 80's sogn she hears (That has been pasted down to me) anmd she has a sonng for EVERYTHING (like me). She loves God and enjoys hanging out with her BFF.. me!! LOl My momma is my best friend =] we share everything together and she is my biggest fan right next to my Mama(s). My Momma looks like her mom (my Mamaw) I look like my Mama (to different people same name lol)

  4. My mom is really inspiring. She is beautiful, loves the Lord and our family and has always encouraged me in all I set out to do.
    She wrote me notes and put them in my lunch for school everyday from my first day to my last day. Even now she sends me cards and notes to my college mailbox. She has a positive thing to say about almost any situation, and her love for life is so captivating and lovely.
    I love my mom!

  5. Your mom sounds so cool. =)

    My mom is also amazing. She acts all shy in front of a group of people (like me), but she has unreal one-on-one people skills (unlike me, LOL). She can meet someone anywhere (example: a public restroom) and know their life story within minutes. People just naturally open up to her. And then she remembers people...people who she might have seen and talked to once, and she remembers them if she sees them years later. She's also incredibly sweet and selfless. And funny and quirky. She believes that it is her duty to care for all the birds in the neighborhood, especially bluebirds and golden finches.

    I usually don't connect with too many people of my own age, so my mom is pretty much my best friend. =)


  6. what was the bible study method she taught you??

    your mom does sound really awesome:)

  7. Aw, your mom sounds awesome :)

    My mom is great because she always listens to me pour out my many and constant problems and frustrations with school. She is so involved with everything I do and she does so much for me.

    Yeah, what was your Bible study method?

  8. "My mom is so pretty. I tell her she's pretty like a folk song."

    OMG, I love this. It's perfection. You need to use this in one of your books, Natalie!

  9. Ma Petite,

    I am so glad your blog friends do not know me, and that love, truly, is blind. You light up our life--

  10. I laughed out loud when I read that your mom's favorite movie is Babe. I am pretty sure my mom was obsessed with it when it first came out.

  11. Um, this post made me cry. Darn you, Natalie! ;)

    Where do I start? The part where your parents taught you to walk over and over again, the part where your mom embarrassed you in front of the cute counter guy (seriously, why are they ALWAYS cute when something embarrassing is going down. And pimply buttheads for our [rare] moments of coolness? That's one I'm waiting to ask God when I see Him. ;)

    Anywho, I've been having a positively craptastic day...well, weekend, really. And I saved your post to read because I knew it would cheer me up. Aaandd... it made me cry. (Darn you, Natalie!) But in the best of ways. I'm going to give my mom a hug when I see her tonight.

    And can I call your mom "Natalie's Mom Lainey"? Alpha Granny is ingenious, but a little inappropriate, no?

  12. I think you know how I feel about your mom - she's been such a blessing at work! I think you should become friends with my mom because I'm friends with yours. They're a lot alike except my mom told me not to pick up needles in the alley behind the house :)

    God gave you an awesome mom and you are truly blessed!

  13. I love your mama too!!! She is absolutely amazing! I would love to see her sometime soon. Addi and I might just have to visit this summer. I'm so proud of you Nat. You are an amazing woman who is inspiring many with the beautiful words you put on paper. Thanks for being you! :) Roya
    p.s. My mama is pretty wonderful too, just in case she's reading this. ;)