There are many things I can’t do.
I can't cartwheel or even pull off a donkey kick. (I have never been aware of where my body ends and the earth begins. Grass and dirt hurt when you thud down into it. I am graceless, floppy and unsure. I am also afraid of seriously hurting myself, deep into my 30s, with bones and ligaments and muscles that are a little tight and frayed, and a lot old.)
I can't change a tire.
I can't throw away the last bite, even if I'm filled to the gills.
I can't Q-tip my ears without coughing.
I can write. I can easily fill a greeting card, start and finish a blog post or give you 4 cue cards worth of material for 3 minutes in front of a wedding reception. What I pull out of my head and tap onto the page isn’t everyone’s favourite, but when pressed by a stranger for what I “do”, I say “I write” so if nothing else the lines between my brain and mouth are completely confident of my skills.
I can’t write everything though. Don’t ask me for anything technical, anything over 1000 words, how to describe the murky taste of a runny egg yolk, or that feeling when you go outside a little earlier than usual in the morning and it’s very green and that one bird is shouting good morning and you feel very invisible.
The one topic I could write about forever is my Mom. I’m not a platinum recording artist or even a YouTube sensation so I’ll probably never be able to buy her a house, but I can tell her in 678 different ways how much I love her. How much I see her. How much I understand everything she gave up for us when we were little. How much she influences my everyday everything.
The piece I submitted to Blue Lobster Book Co.'s new collection, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, is a bit of a rambler. Its cuffs are showing. It’s a lot of tiny memories jammed into a big story.
Memories of my youth are always threatening to come uncoiled and slip clean away from me. I did my best to show you all the good shiny ones so I always have a record of how it was, how I felt, how I feel and oh how I love her.
You are probably wonderful at a lot of things. If you feel like you or your Mama would love some stories to read, you can buy Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee in a tangible in-the-bathtub version on Amazon.com or for your Kindle on Amazon.ca. I am just one voice in this collection and we are a choir of fucking funny and wise powerful voices.
You should also just use your words, no matter how difficult they may be to find and jam together, to thank that Mama of yours.
They love us no matter what we may be good at or what we fail at miserably.
They don’t see the flailing limbs trying to arc through the air neatly then collapsing into the dirt. They see the sun hit our flying hair, and our necks they once inhaled sweet fumes off of, and our faces that have developed like Polaroids, once blurry and now clear and revealed.
They just see love. They can’t help it.
Thank you for supporting the projects that make me feel 6 steps closer to being more comfortable when I say "I'm a writer." You are made of the best stuff.