“Thank-You-Ma’am” or “Fan Mail to My Perfect Fan”

Hey, Momma – did you know a “thank-you-ma’am” is defined as “a bump or depression in the road”? “From its causing the head to nod as though in acknowledgment of a favor”, it says. Amazing, the bits of trivia a glance through a dictionary can turn up.

In other news…

"It's your birthday?!"

“It’s your birthday?!”

It’s your birthday! And since I gave Daddy his very own blog post in recognition of his birthday, I can in good conscience do no less for you today. ‘Cause, y’know, you’re just as special. (:

So let’s take a few moments to celebrate the role you’ve played in making me the awesome author gal on the brink of publication we all know and love today, why don’t we?

You gave birth to me. Obvious, but vital.

You treated me like a wordsmith-to-be from day one. No baby talk between you and me, oh no. (Not until these last few years, anyway.) Your one-sided conversation showed Infant Me how English was supposed to sound, and your intolerance for non-words like “lookit” guided my early communication toward a healthy formality. Everyone who compliments me as well-spoken has you to thank.

You taught me that every character has his or her own voice. All your patient repetitions of “Spot” flap-books really drove that lesson home. Turtles advising us to “try the basket” sound different from lions declaring, “No one can see me!” With your example before me – not to mention countless hours of your audio book picks in the kitchen and on the road – I learned how reading aloud can make a story leap off the page, and how crucial it is to let each character I create sound true to their individual selves.

Spot and I share this in common.

Spot and I share this in common.

You let it be okay to treat fiction as reality. If I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes, you handed me a deerstalker cap and set me off on a Birthday Hunt mystery. When my obsessions moved in a more boy band and “Lord of the Rings” direction, you arranged for the Backstreet Boys and some Scottish pirate person growling about Aragorn to leave me a string of touching messages on the phone’s answering machine. And even now, you’ll buddy around with Will Scarlet when he bursts into our conversations, like he does. As interesting an experience as it might have been to get sent to a mental institution, I like the way you deal with me better.

You always supported my creative endeavors. …Even if the endeavor was a big glob of colored glue. You never begrudged my colossal wastes of paper on treasure maps to nowhere, board games with no rules, summonses, ventriloquist dummies, and of course, stories. You gave me pretty much free rein to dabble in artistic media, and when I eventually decided that my strongest passion lay in writing, you rooted for me 100%. You became one of my first critique partners and complaint buddies about writerly pet peeves; a listening ear when I need to talk through story stumbles, and a sometimes surprising source of inspiration; a wall between the world’s bothersome distractions and my writer’s cave; and the first person I want to go to with either hard disappointments or heady victories. I don’t know how authors without amazing mommies do it.

You pretty much did everything there was to do, shy of writing my stories for me. I’m glad you left that part to me. I happen to love my job, more or less as much as I love you.

Thank you, ma’am, Backstreet-style. I luvva you.

Momma and Me, circa her 55th Birthday

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6 thoughts on ““Thank-You-Ma’am” or “Fan Mail to My Perfect Fan”

  1. What a wonderful birthday present for your mom – well done and sentimented! 🙂 (Did she let you make up words too?)

    I’ll need to steal this idea from you when it comes to either Mother’s Day or my mom’s birthday! Writer’s Mark

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