Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Double Sided Tape of Genetics
This morning I listened to a voice mail she left me wishing me Happy Anniversary. I'm always thankful to miss her call on these days because the messages she leaves are priceless and worth re-saving every sixteen days just to listen to and laugh at when I need to be reminded of home. Last year she called and sang a little ditty she made up that boasted a melody somewhere between Happy Birthday and Yankee Doodle Dandy. This year was no disappointment.
She started out innocently enough by telling me she loves me and wants to tell me Happy Anniversary. She then goes on to say how she wanted us to have a good time. The gist of the rest is an absolutely hilarious stream of consciousness that runs something along the lines of "Well, I guess you've already had a good time on other anniversaries because you have four kids, not necessarily on your anniversary but at some point in time." She not only started my day with a laugh, but she reminded me that my lack of pretense (and my slow internal filter) comes from good stock.
Grandmama is one of a kind. She has impeccable hair from weekly trips to her longtime stylist (don't ever expect to catch her at home on Thursday mornings), a fabulous suntan from working in her garden with my Grandpapa, and an enviable shoe collection. I feel more comfortable at her house and in her presence than I do most any place in the world, and Sunday lunches with my family are very near the top of the list of what I miss most about Carrollton. Lunch is never short on grousing from Grandpapa because we're five minutes late, flavorful southern cooking complete with fresh veggies from the garden, and unforgettable belly laughs. No subject is ever too taboo for discussion, and no one can ever show up to her table in a bad mood and leave it still grumpy. My friends love her as much as I do, and she rewards their love by spoiling them with dirt pie, which unfortunately is usually eaten by me before it makes it to them.
We all have positive and negative attributes we inherit from our families. My mother has the same goofy sense of humor as Grandmama and thankfully passed it on to me. My grandpapa and my mom are talented writers, and I like to think a sliver of their talent runs through my veins. My dad is very practical and level headed, and....well, clearly I wish I had inherited a little more of that. My kids have a conglomeration of chromosomes (uh huh, you like that alliteration, don't you?) that make them the intricately designed little creatures they are. I hope I can do the genes I contributed justice by teaching them to love themselves and to love where they come from. Both sides of the genetic gene pool are sticky, but they are purposeful and valuable. Thanks, Grandmama, for adding color to my day and inspiring me to laugh at myself and to try a little harder to be the best mom I can.