Gospel Music.

A few weeks ago, I went to my parent’s house to pick something up. I didn’t have the kids with me — it was just me and my mom. After I was done loading up the van, I plunked down on the couch to chat for a minute.

She seemed on edge, taking lots of deep breaths, which made me on edge. Finally, she said, “There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about.” The way she said it made me nervous, like I was in trouble. Had I said bullshit too many times on my blog? I don’t talk like that in person — she should be proud. Was she going to try to talk to me about the kid’s moral character, or how Maverick knows too much about anatomy? My mind was spinning, and I tried to brace myself for whatever was about to happen.

I need you to just keep an open mind about what I’m going to say,” She said. “This has really been weighing on me for a long time.”

I squirmed in my seat.

She took a deep breath. I waited.

I really feel like Maverick needs to be involved in Southern Gospel music.”

I made the sound I make when I am trying to be polite and NOT laugh. I did what she asked and I heard her out. She explained her reasoning, how much research she had done on the subject, and where the closest school was for learning such a musical skill (Pass Christian, Mississippi, just so you know).

Later on, I pointed out how weird that was and what a shame it is that I can’t talk about all the things I go through with my parents and my in-laws that are just FUNNY. I don’t want to poke fun at them because they are my elders and they are all wonderful, but wow, have I got some stories.

She suggested that I could still share the stories, but change everyone’s names. You know, like Jane and John and the neighbor lady, Patrice. I explained that is something I just can’t do. It takes too much energy to dream up names for my characters and then pretend I’m not talking about my own mother. I’d give up halfway through and just say the hell with it, I AM JANE AND PATRICE IS MY MOTHER. MY MOTHER WHOSE REAL NAME IS ESTHER SAT ME DOWN TO TELL ME MY 5-YEAR-OLD NEEDS TO BE A GOSPEL SINGER.

(Disclaimer: I would totally support Maverick if he wanted to sing gospel music. I also got my mother’s permission to share this story.)

Do we look like the kind of people who have the time to fabricate elaborate stories? Count how many kids you see in this picture.

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This is us, in our too-small kitchen.

When my Scary Mommy piece was published on Friday, traffic to this blog shot to unprecedented numbers. It blew my mind, actually; the entire experience was out-of-body. It was exciting and humbling, and inspired me to keep going — to write more, to continue to aim high. But I have always felt disappointed when I found a really cool blog and then the writer starts getting more and more traffic and then they start writing more and more sponsored posts (not that I wouldn’t do that — I totally would) and seem like they are censoring what they say out of fear that they will offend someone.

If NOT letting that happen here means I never find my way to the big time, so be it. I am a terrible liar, as illustrated above. If I tried to make my life seem glossy, or my kitchen seem spacious or my parents (who I try not to talk about here) seem boring and normal, it wouldn’t work.

Just like if I said my “friend’s” father-in-law is a kind-hearted ghost hunter, you’d totally know I was talking about my own father-in-law.

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