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A Mother of a Week

It’s that time of year in the United States. The one where we celebrate the person who forced us to stop being a parasite and enter the world via the area between her legs. Or come screaming a la Alien through a bloody slit in her stomach. Or pay homage to the woman who put up with every bit of our ridiculousness, even though she may not have birthed us.

It’s Mother’s Day Week.

My friend (and glorious beta reader) Amber Deutsch looked at me the other night. “I wish I knew more about your mother, Andra,” she said, as my whole air intake system shut down. “Like, how much of YOU is your mother? I mean, I feel like I know your dad pretty well, but what parts of your personality come from your mother?”

“HAHAHAHA.” I buried my face in a glass of wine. Oh my God, do I really have to answer that? Or even THINK about it?

And, I immediately slapped myself unconscious because 1. I was drinking wine, which is totally not okay with my mother; and 2. I thought the phrase ‘Oh my God,’ which is even worse than drinking wine.

So, this week, as a tribute to my ever patient, eternally young Mom, I’m going to tell her stories. Because, whether anyone believes it or not, I’ve always been a mommy’s girl. Though these stories may not convey that.

At all.

********************

I met my junior high school English teacher at a Shoney’s next to I-95 in Manning, South Carolina. April 24, 2014. I hadn’t seen her in more than 20 years. I still call her Miss Sweat, because it’s just wrong to call her Ginger.

Really. I never said her name the whole time. AND I’M FORTY-FREAKING-FIVE. This is what growing up in The South does to people.

Anyway.

“I always thought your mom was the most proper Southern Belle.”

“Yeah. She likes to perpetrate that notion.”

“Well, we went on a Sunday School thing one time, and that image was forever ruined for me.”

I raised an eyebrow. Because I know my mother. And I wondered which of her various quirks could’ve caused her to nose-dive off that lofty pedestal.

Hanging her sexy underwear all over the bathroom, right under my husband’s nose as he takes a shower? 

Her innate ability to pretend her family is The Nirvana of Peace and Tranquility,  even as we’re screaming at each other across the dinner table? 

Her ability to find people when they’re on the toilet and accost them with serious conversation? 

“What’d she do?” I held my breath.

“Well………….she…………”

Continued on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

with parents at wedding

***************

Pictures from Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery, while it’s still temperate enough to have a picnic. Andra Watkins Tumblr

 

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a wonderful tribute..

    May 5, 2014
    • I wonder whether she’ll feel that way when I finish. 🙂

      May 5, 2014
      • I am sure she will..

        May 5, 2014
  2. So, starting your own 24 cliffhanger.

    May 5, 2014
  3. Love this idea, Andra. Also, I still call my friend’s mom Mrs. Usenia, even though she’s told me a thousand times to call her by her first name. I would do the same with my teachers. And I grew up deep in Yankee territory! ;-).

    May 5, 2014
    • It’s hard to let everything from childhood go, isn’t it? If I met my friends’ parents as an adult, it’s easier to call them by their first names. But if I met them as a kid, I still call them all Mr. and Mrs. Whatever, even though a lot of the time, the Whatever was their first names, just like Em does in my story.

      May 5, 2014
  4. What in the world are y’all all dressed up for in that picture?

    May 5, 2014
    • Our wedding. That was after the deed was done, and we were posing for some family photos in Washington Square Park.

      May 5, 2014
  5. I bumped into a book I thought might appeal to you ~ Natchez Burning by Greg Iles:

    http://www.amazon.com/Natchez-Burning-Novel-Penn-Cage/dp/0062311077/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

    May 5, 2014
  6. Oops . . . meant to include a brief synopsis (from Amazon):

    “Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community is accused of murdering Violet Turner, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the early 1960s. A fighter who has always stood for justice, Penn is determined to save his father, even though Tom, stubbornly evoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to speak up in his own defense.”

    May 5, 2014
    • I checked this book out when I was in Natchez, Nancy. 🙂 Thanks for recommending it here.

      May 5, 2014
    • Just yesterday put this on my Gotta Read it list!

      May 5, 2014
  7. I really should learn the art of the multi-part story, rather than dither on for 1,000+ words at a time. 🙂

    May 5, 2014
    • This post is still too long, even after I cut about a hundred words last night.

      May 5, 2014
      • You are a rock star with your self-edit abilities. I really, really need to work on that.

        May 5, 2014
  8. Glad to know we’ll learn a bit more about your mom, Andra, and, in the doing, yet more about you. That is such a lovely photo of you all at your wedding.
    Oh, wait . . . gotta check out your photos at Magnolia Cemetery.

    May 5, 2014
    • We were lucky on Saturday, Penny. Perfect picnic weather. Supposed to be 90 on Wednesday, so we grabbed the nice-and-pretty afternoon while we had it.

      May 5, 2014
  9. How excited am I? THIS MUCH

    May 5, 2014
  10. Lance #

    great post

    May 5, 2014
  11. tarakianwarrior #

    What oh what could have knocked her off the Southern Lady pedestal.

    May 5, 2014
  12. Oooo a cliff hanger!! You got me…ready for Wednesday already.

    My husband is from Nashville and even still calls my parents ma’am and sir most of the time. My step daughters call them Mr. Dan and Mrs. Julie 🙂 I love it!

    May 5, 2014
    • It’s just one of those things Lindsay. I think it’s really great. Glad to know someone else who does this. 🙂

      May 6, 2014
  13. No fair. I want to know more about your mother too, and you haven’t even gotten started yet!

    May 5, 2014
    • This new format is taking some getting used to for me, Lisa. We’ll see how long I stick to it.

      May 6, 2014
  14. oh boy, i can’t wait to hear the rest….

    May 5, 2014
  15. I’m sure we all have opinions about your Mom, based on what little you have previously shared here and there. I’m going to be very interested to see how reality compares to mine.

    No post here is ever too long from my point of view. 🙂 I LOVE the picnic photos, ‘specially the one with the bridge on the horizon and that last, dreamy one just before the book photo..

    May 5, 2014
    • We haven’t taken enough time to enjoy Spring, Karen, and here it is 93 and breaking records already in May. I’m glad we’ll be gone for half of June………..

      May 6, 2014
  16. I think this is indeed a fun series for us, and as you say, we’ll see how your mom responds. I have opinions of your mom based upon very small things that you’ve shared, and I have found her very interesting. I hope she’ll enjoy our vicarious relationship with her via the fact that we have all adopted you into our families. What a wonderful, happy photo. Beautiful!

    May 5, 2014
    • My mom and I are in the best place we’ve been in years right now. I hope nothing I write changes that…….. 🙂

      May 6, 2014
  17. So nice your mom is still with you…..I think she will enjoy your tribute.

    May 5, 2014
    • We’ll see. I may have to put the phone on silent tomorrow, John.

      May 6, 2014
  18. Maybe she did nothing and Miss Sweat confused her for someone else.
    Theres a very nice picture of your feel and a tree at tumblr.

    May 5, 2014
  19. Ooo! A cliffhanger!
    Glad you’re doing this tribute to your mom and that she can read the stories and comments.

    May 6, 2014
  20. Gosh, you’re gonna make us wait?! Not fair, Andra! Oh, well, looking forward to a week of mother stories.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kath

    May 6, 2014
    • Such as my weeks are these days. We were talking about you and Sara the other night. All good. I’ll email you about that.

      May 6, 2014
  21. Oh, you. You KNOW your mom is grinning up a storm because you’re getting her some nice attention. Unless this all ends badly like the video above, I think she’ll be VERY pleased.

    May 6, 2014
    • It does bother her that I write about Dad all the time, but she’s WAY more complicated.

      May 6, 2014

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