Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yo Mama. Yo favorites.

Sunset in my mama's favorite place

Hey! The moment you've all been waiting for is here. . .okay. . .maybe it's the moment I've been waiting for. . .but still! It's here. It's here!


A guest post, y'all!

Now. I know you know that this is a very unusual occurrence on this here blog. In fact, the only guest poster that I've ever had has been the two awesome visits from Neil W.-- one in "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn" and the other in "History Will Teach Us Everything."

Otherwise, you've been stuck with me. Ha!

But not today. And on top of all of that, I actually have a different guest poster. Ain't that exciting? Even if your answer is no, it's pretty darn exciting to me.

Here's why:

The esteemed author of this guest post is. . . . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . . my mother!

Also known as Shug. Also known as Grandma Shugsie. Also known as just Shugsie. Also known as Tounces. Also known as Grandma.  And also known as MY MAMA!


Do you guys have any idea how groovy it is to have your mama write something for your blog? Well if you don't I'll tell you. Very. Especially if you are still in touch with your inner child who remembers how good it felt to have your mama volunteer to read a book in your class or participate in any kind of thing that you were a part of as a child.

The other special part is that my mama is not only the very first reader of my blog, but also  the person who seems to read what I've written even before I've hit publish. I don't know how she does it but I feel like I get the "typo text" before I've even finished the post. But seriously? I love every second of it. And even though I'm forty two years old, her dedication to following my blog kind of feels like having a parent at every single soccer game or clapping on the front row of your middle school drama production no matter how lame.

And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.

As some of you know, last week I put up a post about the writings from my archives that I revisit the most. Tounces got super excited from that and said (without solicitation) that SHE wanted to do a favorites list of her own. From her daughter's blog. How sweet is that?

And can I please just let you know that my mother is the only person I know who surpasses me in thinking, over-thinking, and then warming thoughts back up to be over-thunk one more time. Which means that having her agree to write and then release what she's written to me for all of you to read is kind of a big deal.

Mmm hmmm.

So. You know what to do. Put your hands together for my mama and show that woman some love as she brings to you:


Like to hear it? Here it go!

So . . .last week I promised Grady Doctor (my daughter) that I'd write a guest post about my favorite ten posts on her blog – the ones I go back to most often. The fun part was going back over my list (Yes, I’m forgetful so I keep a list) and revisiting some that I hadn’t read in a while. The hard part was trying to narrow my list down to only ten. But here goes. I’m calling it The Top ___ Posts that I Love Most. And yeah, the blank is there intentionally because I’m not sure how many will end up here.

Kimberly sidebar:  Remember when Mrs. Carter said that rules don't apply to the elders? Now that you're sixty five the top ten rules don't apply to you.

Needless to say, I always enjoy the family posts because there’s love in every word.

And for the record:  The BHE is also the BSILE. (That's the Best-Son-in-law-Ever.)

And the Grady elders? Love each and every post about them!

But before I go any further let me just say that, hands down, my all time favorite is “We Love Her More."

Not only is the post about me (ahem!), but it tells about what was The.Best.Birthday.Ever! for me, and at the age of 65, that’s saying a lot.

Three of my kids, my son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and all six of my grandkids were there. Love was in the air that night. So much so that even total strangers were wishing me Happy Birthday and hugging me. Best of all, though, is that the elephant that had been in the room for much too long dissipated into thin air like those elephants in the Dumbo movie. . . it just floated away, out of the room and into the night.

image credit

Because as it happens, the problem with those elephants in rooms is that they cause spouses to side with their spouses which deepens the rift and the tension permeates the family like a fog. It’s heavy and there, but you can’t touch it. But all of that disappeared that night because everyone loved me more than enough to come together as a family. Whenever I want a feel-good feeling, I read that post and watch the video!

Sigh . . .

I love “Acute-On-Chronic Parental Pride” for much of the same reasons. But mostly because when I look at the picture of Kimberly’s Dad standing there with her, I can see how happy they both were. It was a wonderful day, indeed!

“For the Love of Grady – A Love Letter” – I love this post because it just expresses everything Grady Doctor loves about what she does. I love how she defends and honors Grady’s authentic voice.

Nuff said!

Tops, too, on my list is “Please and Thank You." I can never read that one without getting teary-eyed. Just seeing the picture of the roses makes me feel full.

It reminds me how kindness can touch people’s hearts. Which leads me to “A Piece of Cake."  Because that? That is what being a kind person is all about - ordinary people making the world a better place! And then when I got to “meet” Miss Regina again  in "The Woman in the Elevator"-- I was just thrilled. I actually gave her a virtual hug.


“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” makes me feel sad every time I reread it. I just wish Mrs. Bates had a better lot in life, you know?

That’s also how I feel about “Little Mama” which I have read dozens of times and shared with many people. In that piece, the descriptions are so vivid that I can see the scene happening in my head every time I read it. Kids with “noodle legs”, “. . .two small children floating behind her running legs like two human kites”. And if that didn’t move me enough, then emmy’s (now known as Lisa)  comment just took me over the edge. Damn!

“Letting Go” makes me think. It’s a sad piece about a young man fighting for his life. It also introduced me to Atul Gawande’s writing and I read his piece as well. Food for thought, there!

And “Jeremiah, The Butterfly” made me feel more compassion for those who struggle with choices that aren’t always theirs to make. As did “This” where the transgendered Brazilian woman called Grady Doctor out on not being as enlightened as she believed she was.

I enjoyed “Sounds of This American Life” so much that I actually did it with a class in which I substituted and called it “Sounds I Heard Today”. The fourth grade students came up with some great lines – “Bus doors hissing, Feet shuffling, Friends hello-ing, Teachers greeting . . .”

“I’m Here” and “You Make a Grown Man Cry”  both touched my heart because each person was treated with the respect and compassion that they needed and deserved.

And “We Cool” contains such a good word that I wrote in down and put it on my mirror.

"What you hear sometimes got more to do with where you at than what the other person say."

That’s some profound talk there!

And the one I go to when I want to laugh out loud?? “Grady Seinfeld Moment on a Tuesday – Rusty Butterknives." Hilarious! I’m even laughing now as I write this.

My final word? Anytime I open up Grady Doctor’s Blog and see a new post, I know I’m in for a good read. Because Grady Doctor is not only my daughter, she is a gifted storyteller.

And me? I’m an acute-on-chronically proud mama!

xo, Tounces


Thanks, Tounces!

Okay, now y'all show my mama some love in the comment section so she won't be over-thinking this whole thing. But mostly because she's awesome and insightful. A quote from her TODAY (no exaggeration) was:

"I love it when a post makes somebody. . what do you call it? DE-LURK?"

But seriously--Mom, thanks for all of your consistent love and support. Real, true support often involves time. And you consistently put it in. You have taught me how to make love a verb. Thanks for that.


The Knee-baby

P.S. This random photo of Neil W. and David M. is for you, Tounces.  (Mom is super fond of Neil--who she regularly describes as "fetching." Several other readers have a thing for David, so I figured I would please all of you, too.)

Happy Sunday.


  1. Yay! I loved this post ! Clearly, Kim " gets it from her mama " !

    Maria, fellow Meharrian

    1. Thanks, Maria. You are Tounces' first official comment!

      Kimberly, fellow Meharrian

  2. I haven't even finished reading the post yet, but that second pic of you and Dame Tounces... that one's gotta be framed and displayed. It's at least worthy of screensaver status.

    1. OMG. "Dame Tounces?" I am so about to start calling her that. Effective NOW.

    2. Make sure I get full credit for Christening her "Dame Tounces" unless she doesn't like. Then, of course, it's all on you.

  3. I love it!! And one thing to please tell your mother: this post reminds me that a person comes from somewhere. Dr. Grady, you're the doctor you are because of your mother and the values she holds. I read this and I see that no person stands on his own, and for those of us who lack family support, we're ever SO much more grateful of the people who support and care for the people who care for us. We don't know where we'd be without those Tounces in the world!!


    1. How sweet is that, Abigail? Thank you so much for these kind words and for reading here! My mama is an AMAZING lady.

  4. Thank you, Dame Tounces. Even though I haven't been reading Grady Doctor for as long as I wish I had, you mentioned three of my personal best favorites!

    Like motha, like daughta ~ two very special gems.

    1. Three cheers for Dame Tounces! Hip Hip HOORAY (repeat two more times.)

  5. Oh my. Just read the Rusty Butter Knife entry for the first time and I am still laughing. I agree completely with your mama. I find it best to agree with people's mamas...they are usually right. I say this because I am 3 somebodies mama. Hats off to Lady T.

    1. Mary Alice, I had totally forgotten about the Rusty Butter Knife and I just LOLed my head off rereading it. That man was so cute and so funny.

      Hat's off to all the Mamas including you. (And you know I'm smiling at you calling my mom "Lady T.")

  6. Dame Tounces, you've done good, as they say. Damn good.

    1. *smiling*

      (I can tell you right now, E, that this is what my mom is doing right now. She is tickled to death with this whole "Dame Tounces" thing--I just KNOW it!)

  7. Official Note: The name "Dame Tounces" was coined by the one and only Nancy. :) Check her out in the blog roll!

  8. What an incredible gift to be so loved by your mother. What an incredible gift to be so loved by your daughter.
    You are both gifts to all of us.
    Thank you for being part of my world. Both of you.

  9. Wow, Kim! You and your mother are such gifted writers, with an impeccable ability to make the pages come alive as if (the readers) are right there! KEEP WRITING, I so enjoyed her blog and feedback. Thank you Mrs. Shug! This poem came to mind as I read it:

    A Mother's Love by Helen Steiner Rice

    A Mother's love is something that no on can explain,
    It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain, It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may For nothing can destroy it or take that love away. It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,And it never fails or falters
    even though the heart is breaking. It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
    And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems. It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,And it still remains a secret
    like the mysteries of creation. A many splendored miracle man cannot understand And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hand.

    Crystal/ Front

  10. Dame Tounces, Indeed!
    Thank you, Nancy.
    That is now my new moniker.
    The Blog World is a lovely place.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Crystal: I will print the poem
    And keep it in my writing folder
    So I can read it often
    And savor the words.
    And I know for a fact
    That Dr. Neil
    Is not only fetching
    He is a kind and lovely man as well.

    1. Absolutely loved your post! And your favorite post of all time definitely brought a tear to my eye. That video...whew! Dame Tounces--where's the book on your parenting advice? Because you have raised some phenomenal people!

  11. Dang. A post from Tounces AND a picture of David? Can I just say *SWOON* from LA (that's Lower Alabama to those not in the know). Honestly one of the best posts I've read in a long time, and considering your writing, that's SAYING something!

    Much love to you and Tounces!

    1. And to you, too, Miss Chevious! We are down with Alabama so it's all good!

  12. What a beautiful tribute. You both are two very special women whose spirits just shine through your words. I so enjoy coming here, it just feeds my soul. I am so glad to have discovered your blog and to have a window into your world.

  13. You should be proud Shugsie. You did an amazing job raising her. I like your choices, and had an enjoyable evening reading posts that I hadn't seen before.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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