To My Mama

Tinsley 100 b&w

Carrie, age 6: Mom, why can’t you throw the ball like I do? You aren’t a very good water skier, are you? That’s okay. You’re a pretty good singer. I still love you. What’s for dinner?

Carrie, age 12: Ugh, Mom. You are SO embarrassing! Why won’t you let me do what all the other 7th graders are doing? It’s so unfair. You are ruining my life. I will never be cool, and it’s all because of you!

Carrie, age 16: I think I’m at the age where I’m past being embarrassed by my mother. I’m sure you could still find something to do or say that would mortify me in front of my friends, but I have a car. So I could just drive away if you got too weird.

Carrie, age 18: Mama, I thought I was ready to leave home and be far away, but I’m really homesick at college. Was this a mistake? Can I come home?

Carrie, age 18 (three days later): Mama, this is SO fun. I LOVE college! Thanks for encouraging me to stay here! I can’t believe I just said you were right. Weird, huh?

Carrie, age 21: I’m moving to Nashville after graduation. I have a job! I have an apartment! Don’t worry, Mom. You’ll love my boyfriend once you get to know him.

Carrie, age 22: Mama, this job sucks, and my boyfriend sucks. I’m going to grad school. I can be a college English professor when I get out!

Carrie, age 24: Mama, I met this boy, and I think he’s the one. I’m terrified, though. I’m so bad at picking boyfriends. But he’s different. And I couldn’t stand it if you didn’t like him. But I trust you, too. If you think something’s wrong with him that I don’t see, please let me know. And guess what? I’m going to be a high school English teacher, just like you were.

Carrie, age 26: Mama, he asked, and I said YES!!! You knew? He asked you first? Oh my goodness, I love this man, and I’m so glad you do, too. Please help me plan our wedding. Will you help me look for a dress?

Carrie, age 28: Mama, you’re not going to believe this, but we’re going to have a baby! You’re going to be a grandmother! You will be the best grandmother in the world. We’ve been saving our toys since we were kids! I’m so scared. I know nothing about babies!

Carrie, age 29: Mama, meet Sarah Seaton. Isn’t she perfect? I hope I can be half the mom that you’ve been. Muzzy is the best grandmother name ever.

Carrie, age 31: Mama, I’m heartbroken. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to have another baby. Why do we keep failing? I want to be the kind of mom you were, but I’m sad all the time. I’m letting Sarah down.

Carrie, age 32: Mama, this is Tate, your new grandson. A girl and a boy, just like our family! Our family is complete, and I’m so grateful that my kids have you as their Muzzy.

Carrie, age 34: Well, Mama, I thought that we were done having kids, but guess what? One more on the way! You will have to go into Muzzy-overdrive!

Carrie, age 35: Mama, I’m so glad you stayed with me in the hospital when Sawyer was born. Those were such sweet days, days I’ll never forget (even though we were both sleep deprived!) I’m terrified…we are moving to Arkansas. I don’t think I can be so far away from you! Jeff is already gone to start work, and I have two little kids, a newborn baby, and a house to sell. I can’t do this by myself! Can I even BE at stay at home mom? Can we survive this summer?


Carrie, age 36: Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all. I sing in the grocery store aisles. I try to be cheerful when I wake the kids up. I’m sewing, and volunteering for the PTO. I was in a play this year. I am staying at home with them so that I can be there when they need me and help them grow. I am mothering my children in many of the same ways that I grew up because I was given a great childhood…not overindulged or spoiled, but given great love and joy in the little things, and given roots and wings. There is no mother in the world I would rather be like. I adore you, Mama! Happy Mother’s Day!


3 thoughts on “To My Mama

  1. I had the great pleasure of being with your mama this evening, and you could not have given her a more meaningful and lovely Mother’s Day gift!


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