Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Blogger Extraordinaire: Brodi's Mom

Please welcome our guest blogger... My mom. No, I am not desperate.

At a recent family gathering, Brodi asked if anyone present wanted to be a guest blogger.  I immediately raised my hand and shrieked, “Pick me!  Pick me!” 

No one else raised their hand or their voice.  Apparently Brodi didn’t notice, because she cleared her throat and asked with exaggerated enunciation, “I said, does anyone want to be a guest blogger?”

Against a backdrop of deafening silence and with absolutely no reduction in enthusiasm, my hand shot up again as I chanted with grating annoyance, “Pick me!  Pick me!” thus dispelling the myth that if you ignore me, I will go away.  I am the consummate irritant.

No one but her mother would have detected the barely perceptible eye roll when she acquiesced and replied, “Oh Kay-yay!  You can blo-ogg!”

I won!  I won!  By default, yes, BUT I WON!!!

Brodi stipulated that first I had to introduce myself, preferably in simple sentences.  OK! OK!  I have thumbs.  I can do that!  Here goes.

I am Brodi’s mom. 

For those of you who don’t know me, I am 5’7”, naturally blond, I am frequently mistaken for Angeline Jolie  (must be the lips!)  and I have an advanced degree in astrophysics from Harvard.

For those of you who DO know me, I am still in the 12-step recovery program for pathological liars. 

I have always loved words.  They have such power, and can convey such emotion.  I especially like the newest entries included in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.  So in an effort to further describe myself in officially current vernacular, I am not a “cougar,” but I share my daughters’ intense admiration for Rafa Nadal.  At the moment I am sporting a serious “muffin top,” my only claim to curves.  I do not chirp, peep, “tweet,” or feed my Twitter.  I do, however, “fist bump,”  “crowdsource,” and show my “guns” upon request. Well, enough about me.  I’ll be available later for questions. On to the blog.

Summer ended abruptly last week.  Autumn debuted at 6:00 Monday morning in a flurry of backpacks, notebooks, peanut butter sandwiches and a whole bunch of kids with sun-bleached hair.

There’s a certain nostalgia about the first day of school. Memories and recollections flood our minds. Time is not divided into seasons, but determined by which teacher and what grade each kid is assigned. As a grandma, I want to sprint full throttle ahead and wrap a protective shield of arm flab around my little tribe so nothing can harm them.  Grandmas are hard-wired to run interference for their team.  It is not an easy task to allow fledglings to try their wings without saturating the earth with feathers.

Especially kid C.  You’d think that after a broken clavicle and his grandpa stitching multiple facial cuts, I would be hardened to childhood wounds.  Not so.  I am still jarred by the flow of blood or protruding bones.  DNA is a pretty powerful binding agent.

This past Saturday, Dennis and I became soccer nomads, attending 4 out of 5 scheduled games of our grandkids.  Each child seems genuinely happy when we exceed the prescribed neighborhood decibel level with unrestrained cheering, since we do not own vuvuzelas. 

Every one of our posse made us proud, especially kid C.  In spite of a broken elbow held together with pins and a bright Runnin’ Utes red cast on his arm, he played his scheduled game.  Brodi had bound him in bubble wrap to buffer any blunt force trauma to the injury site, so much so that we could have FedEx’ed him anywhere in the world. But there is always risk of freak accidents.  I tried not to worry.  I failed.  Although I do think total body bubble wrap may just be the answer to Grandma angst.  What a little warrior.

After the game, we attempted a high five, but due to the location and immobility of his cast, we settled for fist bumps.  We’re nothing if not adaptable.  It was a nice moment.

We love Brodi’s blog and her gift for creative expression.  She looks at things, but she also sees through things.There are times we think her muse is on steroids.  But we particularly enjoy the many and varied comments that complete her thoughts.  We feel like we know everyone personally, and we’ve learned so much from you.  Sometimes life is like a hurricane – an organized storm around a well-defined eye. Hurricanes happen.  To everyone. You have supported us, encouraged us, and allowed us to feel your love with words of comfort and joy.  This has helped calm the storms that rage. We were advised to surround ourselves with people who believe we can do hard things.  You are part of that.  I guess it is true we are all connected. This is a good thing.

 I appreciate the opportunity to sit in Brodi’s chair, share some thoughts and express our appreciation. Of course, she tells it like it is.  I tell it like it ought to be. So the next time she asks if anyone wants to be a guest blogger, there will be a thunderous “Pick me!” heard round the world!  I’ll be back!


  1. Two questions for you, Brodi's mom: 1) Are you a writer as well? and 2) If not, why on earth not? Your post is very entertaining and heartfelt and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it :)

  2. Great blogging Joan. I love the way you write. I also often mistake you for Angelina Jolie!

  3. Jaime- Since my mom doesn't know how to comment, I'll answer. Yes, she is a writer, but she writes mostly for fun. We've long tried to convince her to write professionally. She'll be very happy you enjoyed the post!

    Eden- She does have big lips...

  4. I want to blog for Brodi next time. I shall force-feed my scanner several yearbook photos of her, proving to the world that A) she is not fat (as she sometimes claims to be) and 2) She drinks from the same non-aging punch mixed with water from the Fountain of Youth that John Stamos does because except for her hair cut, she looks the same!! (Can I get some of that punch? Pleeeeeease???)

    Good job, Brodi's Mom!

  5. Sal- Please, step away from the scanner. Slowly. Now take the old pictures of Brodi, and place them gently in the trash.

    Excellent. :) And now I'm craving punch. With John Stamos. :)

  6. Joan - It's about time Brodi acquiesced. Loved every word. We all know where Brodi gets her wit and humor. You definitely have a gift.

    "DNA is a pretty powerful binding agent." This is so true in your family. I loved seeing all of you walking together after Kid C's first day of school.

    And this? "I guess it is true we are all connected." Yes. We continue our prayers for you and Dennis. Your courage and faith have really blessed my family. Thanks for the fun read today. xo

  7. Very cool post, Brodi's mom! It is certainly clear where Brodi gets her talent and sense of humor.

    Now, when are we having an FOB party IRL so we can all meet?

    (Also, I only had to google "vuvuzelas." Go me!)

  8. ps - The fact that Brodi's "muse is on steroids" explains so much. Still laughing over that line. ;)

  9. Cath- I loved those lines too.

    Robin- FOB party IRL at the launch! Early January. (p.s. I had to look up how to pronounce "vuvuzelas")

  10. Best lines ever:
    "I do not chirp, peep, “tweet,” or feed my Twitter. I do, however, “fist bump,” “crowdsource,” and show my “guns” upon request".

    I was so spent after this post. Thank you so much!

  11. Great post, Brodi's mom! I loved it. It was very heartfelt and wonderfully written. Like Brodi said up in the comments, you should write professionally because it seems that you have a wonderful way with words.

    Brodi, I hope you're not feeling to frazzled! Know that I'm rooting for you. :)

  12. Angela- Thanks for reading! I passed your comment along to my mom. :)

    Jenni- Glad to have you in my corner.

  13. Ah, Brodi, I can see where you get at least some of your talent. Your mom made me smile.