Pinterest is a blessing to me. In a Life that keeps turning faster than I can spin most days, it’s nice to have a place where I can steal other people’s creativity and put my own twists on it. It saves a lot of time in the brainstorming process – What can I do to show appreciation for our daughters’ teachers? How will I get that nasty toilet unclogged without using so many threatening chemicals? Are there any decadently chocolate recipes we might enjoy? – and it helps me continuously come up with new approaches to things.
I do not like to simply pin things and forget them. I prefer to “Like” what I see and come back to it when there is time. Once the pin has been accomplished, it gets “Unliked” and repinned onto my “Pins I Have Tried” board with my own thoughts about the success or failure of the project.
One of the pins that has been calling my name lately centers on things you need to tell your children about yourself as their mother. I like this idea. My oldest daughter came along right after I turned 32. I didn’t get started in my early 20’s like most of my friends did, so I am older than the typical mom of a kindergartener.
This point is not lost on my oldest child, Sarah. A while back she told me that the brother of one of the boys in her class had come to the school to eat lunch with him. After hearing her description of the “brother,” I sighed.
“No, sweetie, that wasn’t his brother. That was his dad.”
“But he was really young, Mama,” she said.
“I know, but trust me. It was his dad. He doesn’t have an older brother, and the person you are describing sounds an awful lot like this dad. He’s pretty young. Not everyone in your class has parents who are older.”
She just looked at me oddly and went on about her business. She doesn’t really grasp age differences at this point. She knows “the elderly,” as she calls them, are older looking and often have gray hair. She sees anyone who is fun and not gray-haired as younger.
When Sarah is my age, I will be 70. When Aubrey is this age, I will be 72. When Zoey is this age, I will be 76.
Eeekk. I’ll be lucky to still be here, and that time will be here long before I’m ready.
So what’s the point? It’s simple – I won’t be here forever, and I want my kids to know things about me that may never come up in conversation. When their Mama is long gone, I want them to have something from me that tells who I am, what I believed and how I felt about Life, love, music, art, work, politics and more.
So this is part one of a 30-part series designed to answer questions about me for my girls. I hope you will join me as we ping through this brain of mine and see where the path leads.
PART 1- 20 Random Facts About Me
1. If I were a superhero, mashed potatoes would be the one weapon that could stop me dead in my tracks. They are horrible. The pre-chewed consistency is nauseating, and I don’t even like to talk about them.
2. I have always wanted to go to law school.
3. My relationship with shoes is odd. On one hand, I love shoes and wish I had a different pair for every outfit. Shoes are great. On the other hand (or maybe on the other foot?), I kick them off as soon as I get in the car most days, and I prefer something like a flip flop for its comfort and foot-exposingness.
4. I am not a fan of the beach. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore is great, but the allure of sand and sun has always escaped me.
5. You may know me as a fairly straight-laced person, but your Mama has a wild streak a mile wide. I have sowed enough wild oats, laughed enough big laughs and danced enough silly dances for several people. My life slowed down and evened out when you girls came along, and I am thankful for that. No matter what you ever do in Life or what crazy path you get yourself talked into, you will always be able to talk to me about it without being judged, and I hope you will feel comfortable doing so. I’ve already barreled down that path long before you even knew it existed, and I’ll be glad to guide you off the rocky road and back into greener fields.
6. I have always wanted to publish a book. Even if no one ever read it, something I wrote would have been deemed worthy of publishing, and that would make me heart-explodingly happy.
7. Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of the day I would be a mother. After being told this was not going to be in my future, I grieved for the loss of that love that I never had. Then you girls came along, and you are literally my dreams come true.
8. Even at 38 years old, there are days when I don’t feel well that I still want to crawl up on my parents’ couch and let them bring me Sprite and a blanket. They would welcome that, and I will always welcome you to do the same. No matter how old you get or where you go in this world, you will always have a spot on the couch reserved for you.
9. I was a stressed-out, competitive mess when I was younger and am hopeful you will be more forgiving of yourself and appreciative of all successes, no matter how small.
10. Even after being married to your Daddy for nearly five years, there are still days when I stop, smile and think, “Wow. I married Randall Mixon.” Daddy and I have known each other since we were kids, we grew up in the same church, and he and Uncle Jake were friends growing up. He and Dubya sang in my first wedding, and Cesa arranged the flowers and helped Nana plan everything. There is a mightily broken and blessed road that led me to your father, and five, 10 and 50 years from now, I will still stop occasionally and thank my lucky stars that he chose me.
11. Speaking of that “first wedding,” you need to know that I was married for 17 months to a man I met in Texas through a personal ad. I was also married for just over five years to a man I met in an AOL chat room. Divorce is not something I recommend. I hope you do a better job than I did getting it right the first time.
12. I can type very quickly. VERY.
13. My favorite color is red.
14. When I was a kid, I loved to read. As an adult, I don’t get much of a chance to do that.
15. When I was in the fifth grade, I made it to the county spelling bee. In my senior year, I went to the state math competition in geometry.
16. When I was 29, I had gastric bypass. At the time of my surgery, I was 315 pounds and miserable.
17. I get very stressed out when someone drops by the house unexpectedly and finds us living in squalor. Okay, so maybe “squalor” isn’t the right word, but sometimes it feels that way when I try to see our home through others’ eyes.
18. If I could go back in time and start my career path over, I would still choose journalism but would’ve chosen photography as a minor. Photography is a hobby I have only discovered in recent years, and I wish I had known at a younger age how much joy it would bring me.
19. If I win the lottery, I will probably still work. I have a fear that no matter how much money I ever save, it won’t be enough to allow your Daddy and me to enjoy retirement without scraping to make ends meet.
20. Your mama has a potty mouth, a lead foot and a love of tattoos. I try to hide the first two things and have learned to control them. The love of ink is fairly obvious in my seven tattoos. I offer no apologies for being different than the perfectly sitcom-appropriate moms some of your friends have. I’m what you got, girls, and I am not going to pretend to be someone I’m not.
Sarah, Aubrey and Zoey, there are so many things I can’t tell you about myself in just a short list of 20 random things. Hopefully, as you get older, we will have many conversations and will remain as open and close and loving as we are now so that you can continue to learn about me and know this person you call “Mama.”
Will our lives together be perfect and totally without struggles? No. You will become teenagers, and I will be going through menopause. We will definitely have our share of head-butting moments.
But maybe we will also share laughs, dreams and secrets, and maybe, just maybe, you will feel comfortable enough with this old mother of yours to talk to me and get to know me as a person and not just as your Mama. I would hate to know that, if I died today, the only thing that helped you get to know me were one-dimensional pictures and Facebook updates.
This blog series is for you, baby girls. Mama loves you, now and always. I try to be such a big part of your world and am hopeful you won’t mind getting to know a little about mine.