Friday, May 28, 2010

Interview with SistahFriend Book Club

We were in Augusta, GA, on tour with Uptown.

posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:55 AM 0 comments

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finding the Little Girl We Lost

From VDB:

Last week, I saw this video of the little girl declaring her love of life, family and herself and felt compelled to blog about it because I think we all come into the world with this same kind of potential for exuberance and positivity but too often, somewhere along the line, it leeches out of us--especially girls. Her enthusiastic display shows none of the inhibition, concern for what others (boys or girls) may think, fear of rejection (from boys or girls) or ridicule (from boys or girls) that eats away at the psyches and souls of girls. Sadly we become so preoccupied with whether or not people like us, whether we are acceptable that we totally forget what WE like—and that we should always begin with our very own selves.

About ten years ago, I came across a batch of childhood photographs of me. There were three pictures in particular that struck me. The little girl captured in each of those fragile, cracked black and white photos was so unrepentantly herself, so sure of her place in the world—albeit that that world was a small patch of sorta-farm in rural North Carolina—that I decided I wanted to keep her around. The photographs are of me at two, three and four years old and I had each tiny picture, restored as best I could, then blown up, matted and framed and hung them on the wall in my bedroom.

The first image, of a resolute, pensive two year old me—or as solemn as a two year old in pj’s standing in waist high grass can be. I’m out behind the North Carolina house where I was born. (The house my grandfather built, the house my father was born in --the house that is pictured on the hardcover version of Far From the Tree.) I use this photo to remind myself that this is as serious as life ever should be…that I can still see over the tall grass and some days I have to look at it more than once.

The second photo is of me at three, by the back door of the same house. I have no idea why I’m so happy—Was it something my mom said? Something my dad did? My grandmother blowing me a kiss? My baby blue (so I hear tell) hair ribbons? I have no clue, but it’s clear I can barely contain my delight in whatever it is. This picture is on my wall so that I remember to always express my joy without reservation and to celebrate whenever possible.

The third picture is of me (yes it’s a white picket fence—talk about cliché) at four years old, outside of my Nana’s house in Buffalo—the city (my mom’s home town) we had moved to by then. The place where the moment we arrived, I demanded my father pull the car over so I could get out and “walk in it” if it was going to be my new home. (For the record, he did let me out so I could plant my feet and order my own steps in my new town.) But I digress—this picture is about me “feeling pretty.” I quite obviously LOVE my dress and doubt that anything could shake my four year old, knock-kneed confidence that I was gorgeous. This photo is to remind me of that feeling on the days that self-doubt creeps up, taps me on the shoulder and whispers in my ear in attempt to undermine my appreciation of myself.

So little Jessica’s video is a 21st century version of these old photos and should be a reminder to all of us never to forget that little girl we were, the one who didn’t know boundaries or limitations. The little girl who dreamed and dared and sang her own song out loud

It’s difficult to photograph a photograph, but here they are


Labels: , , ,

posted by DeBerry and Grant at 5:57 PM 5 comments

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sure Signs You're Becoming Your Mother- RE-POST

In honor of Mother's Day, we're reposting a blog from several years ago that reminded us (and plenty of you) that we're all not nearly as Far From the Tree as we think we are! Below are the first 40 of the 80 Signs You're Becoming Your Mother, we posted back in 2007!

It’s Monday. It’s raining buckets here. We’ve dragged ourselves to the computer. Donna just went to the kitchen, fixed a cup of coffee, left it on the counter, went back to the desk and sat down. It took a few moments for her to figure out what was wrong with this picture. Yeah, Monday’s are a real mother. . .

And forgetting what you got up expressly to do—that’s something our mothers did, and we’d roll our eyes and think, “Dag, what’s wrong with her?” Except now it’s you, and you don’t know when that happened and you swear you just need a vacation. . . Do not stress. This is part of a natural evolution. The good news—It’s out of the closet, so we’re not losing our minds in silence. Forgetfulness, along with the sudden appearance of a soul patch and the disappearance of our waistlines, indicate that whether we have children or not, we are in the process of morphing into our mothers.

For those of you under thirty, this will be like trying to interpret ancient cave drawings. Interesting to look at, but totally meaningless in your world. Be patient—your day is coming. If you’re past the big three-o but not yet forty, you'll smirk and say "that will never happen to me!" Between forty and fifty more of these than you want to admit will apply. And beyond the half century mark, you will find great comfort and satisfaction in the realization that you're not the only one!

So when you wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for breath because you suddenly realize.... Aaaargh! I'm Becoming My Mother!!! Try to stay calm. Do not tear your hair out---it's probably thinning anyway.(Of course, now there's Rogaine.)

But this is not the end of the world (It happened to your own mother and her mother and her mother and...), just the beginning of a new era!

Here's a prayer to see you through.

...Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change (not that I haven't tried), the strength to run screaming from the things I can and the wisdom to keep laughing, because nobody likes a joyless old heifer.

And here are some signposts along the way. We started this list way back when we were writing Far From the Tree and just found it in the abyss that is the “Future Projects” file in our computer.

We’ll be posting more on what we’re calling Mother Mondays. Here goes:

1) What you want instead of a vodka shot is a nice cup of herb tea.

2) The "s" word you use to describe shoes is “sensible”, not “sexy”.

3) The furry food in your refrigerator really disgusts you.

4) You hear yourself say, "How can anybody dance to this?"

5) It's that special night, the one you've been planning for, but you wear galoshes a storm coat, muffler and hat with that slinky little black dress because, after all, it is snowing.

6) It's midnight on Saturday night and what you really want to do is go home to sleep.

7) Your knees announce that you're going to sit down.

8) The little girl you used to baby sit is on her second divorce.

9) You take that big slice of Bermuda onion off the burger because the indigestion it will cause won't be worth it.

10) Even the thought of brushing your teeth in cold water causes pain.

11) You change the sheets every week, on schedule.

12) You can't stand fingerprints and toothpaste spatters on the bathroom fixtures.

13) You actually look forward to family gatherings and remember that Uncle Joe's second wife Ida can only hear out of one ear.

14) Being regular isn't the opposite of being 'late', so the Correctol is in the medicine chest right there next to the Midol.

15) Fiber does not refer to linen or silk.

16) Small children call you "Ma'am".

17) Young adults call you "Ma'am".

18) The oldies station no longer plays music from the decade when you slow danced in the basement.

19) Kids don’t know there was an original version of that song.

20) You understand that Scotch tape is not an acceptable substitute for a needle and thread.

21) You're walking down the street, you see someone’s reflection in a store window and think, “Gee, she looks so much like my Mother.” You’re horrified to realize it’s you.

22) You look at a picture of yourself as a child and see your daughter.

23) You look at a baby picture of you with your mother and realize you look now like she did then.

24) Lingerie becomes underwear and it’s no longer optional—it has advanced engineering

25) Your flannel nightie is your favorite.

26) You keep bed socks in the same drawer as your pajamas because your feet are always cold at night.

27) You wear pants because they keep your knees warm (see # 7).

28) You carry paper towels in your pocketbook to mop up after “power surges.”

29) You buy extra-calcium everything.

30) Retro clothes don’t make you look hip. They make you look like you’re wearing your old clothes

31) You diligently write reminder notes—then forget where the hell you put them.

32) You hear yourself say, "My goodness!" instead of #$%&*! the way you used to.

33) You keep extra birthday cards on hand and actually mail them so they arrive on time.

34) You smile smugly when kids say, "What do you know?"

35) There's always something to eat in your refrigerator and you cooked it.

36) You can only eat cereal or toast after 10 PM if you plan to get any sleep.

37) The thought of cold pizza for breakfast is revolting.

38) You finally admit the photo isn’t blurry—your eyesight is, then give up and get the glasses (but they’ve got to be cute).

39) Your glasses hang from a chain around your neck because it’s the only way you can find them.

40) You remove the clothes from the dryer at the end of the cycle instead of using it like an extra dresser drawer.

Labels: , ,

posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:01 AM 0 comments
Blog search directory Promote Your Blog

Literature Blogs - Blog Top Sites