July 11, 2012

On [being a writer like] My Momma.

My mom and I in 2009.

I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, but I’m so much like my mother. Maybe I get along with my dad so well because I’m so much like my mother.

My mom and I are both tough, and we’re sensitive, and we express ourselves best with written words.

My parents gave me a little red journal for my birthday when I turned 8 or 9. I’m not sure how young I was when they knew I’d be a writer; that I already was a writer.

“For our Kelly, who will be a writer one day, just like her momma,” written in my mom's handwriting on the first page. “We love you! –Mom and Dad.”

They loved me through the incoherent poems about nature, when I’d go on and on about the leaves and the grass and the trees and the fog.

They loved me through interviews I conducted for my sporadic issues of the “Kelly Times,” designed in Microsoft Publisher on our computer running on Windows 95, complete with clipart.

They loved me through late nights when I refused to sleep. The night awakened my imagination, and I’d prolong sleep as long as possible. I'd scrawl out pages and pages in my spiral notebooks—creating worlds of mermaids and warrior princesses and orphans. 

Reading was encouraged, because “the best writers are readers.” Trips to the library were frequent, and if that didn’t happen, there was always mom’s library at home—shelves of treasures leftover from when she'd majored in English in college. Devouring classics that were far beyond my reading level. When I’d ask about a word, Mom would send me straight to the dictionary.

One day we’ll write a book together. Our different voices and styles will mesh together to create something unexpected and beautiful. When I see our names on that cover, I’ll be so proud to be a writer, just like my momma.

Happy Birthday, Mom! You're the best! :)

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