Mother to Daughter & Back Again

I found a scrawled little “poem” under Keppley’s seat this morning entitled “My Mom”:

My Mom’s favorite color is green.
Her favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
My Mom’s favorite game is Pictionary.
Her favorite mood is happy. She is happy sometimes.
Her favorite sauce is steak sauce.
That’s all!

You Mommas know I smiled at her words and winced a little that I’m only “happy sometimes”, because really, really, I’m happy almost all the time, but I clearly don’t let it show often enough. I immediately knew I would write her a response and then my thoughts turned instantly to a written exchange my own Mom and I had. She started it when I was seven – Keppley’s age now. My reply was her 35th birthday present, written when I was 18.


Our Night
by Charlene Young, my Mom

Last night was our night
Everything had to be just right
Reservations for dinner and a show
I wanted your face to glow.

Hours before – you asked what to wear.
You insisted we dress alike –
even down to the hair.
Same color dress, you chose the perfume.
We both checked the mirror before we left the room.

I said you looked like an angel
And you giggled and said,
My gold necklace is my halo
that slipped over my head.

We ordered the drinks and our meal.
We talked and we laughed,
then we made a deal.
As long as you were good and did the
things you should
I just might let you decide when to call it a night.

I introduced you to the singer and the fiddler too.
I wish you could know how proud I was of you.

We talked until the show started
Then we watched – me – only half-hearted.
I watched your face – you were so excited.
You seemed so grown up, but I wasn’t delighted.
It was hard to sit and watch a show.
I felt sad – I could almost see you grow.

You ran into your teacher and a friend joined us.
And for your evening, all this was a plus.
You clapped, and you danced, and oh my, what a flirt!
Watching you grow up – will it always hurt?

Honey, I love you and I’m so glad
For the time we spent together and
the lovely evening we had.
And I thank God in heaven
For our night out – Mother and Daughter, age seven.


Joeli’s Reply
By Me, Charlene’s Daughter

That night was just right
Etched in my memories as a night of nights
Reservations for dinner and a show
Made not only my face, but my heart glow.

Hours before
I asked what to wear.
I wanted to be like you
even down to the hair.

You said I looked like an angel
And I giggled and said,
My gold necklace is my halo
that slipped over my head!

We ordered drinks and our meal.
We talked – How I loved you!
Then you made me a deal:
As long as I was good and did the
things I should
You just might let me decide when to call it a night.

You knew everyone: the singer and the fiddler too.
You introduced me. Mama, I was so proud of you.

We talked until the show started
Then we watched – me – whole-hearted.
Mom, thank you for that special time. I was so excited!
Being with you made me feel so grown up.
I was delighted!
It was easy to sit and watch a show.
With you, I felt safe and loved and free to grow.

I ran into my teacher and a friend joined us.
And for my evening all this was a plus.
I clapped and I danced, but Mom, I wasn’t a flirt!
Mom, growing up and moving apart – will it always hurt?

Mommy, I love you too and I’m so glad
For the time we spent together and
the lovely evening we had.
And I thank God in heaven
For our night out – Mother and Daughter, age seven


It’s funny how growing up hurts all the way around. Becoming a Mommy makes you love, understand and appreciate your own a little more. I bet if I had been the one to start this exchange way back when I was seven I would have thought my Mom was “happy sometimes”. Being an adult isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be and “happy” is a little hard to find some days. But if I had really been watching my Mom on “Our Night”, I bet would have seen something even better than “happy”. I bet I would have seen deep-down, soul joy at time slowly spent with her little girl – her little gift. I know, because when I really see my Keppley, my mood goes way beyond “happy”.

As promised, my response to my own angel girl:

My Kep’s favorite color is black (or maybe red!), but definitely NOT pink.
Her favorite ice cream is chocolate, but Mom’s lime pops will do in a pinch.
My Kep’s favorite game is anything outside with her friends. Or Twister if she has to be inside. Or maybe “Boomerang” with Caleb… which is probably really an outside game.
Her favorite mood is sassy (the good kind!). She is sassy most of the time unless she’s being silly or determined.
Her favorite sauce is ketchup… or ranch, if she’s eating veggies.
My favorite girl is her.
That’s all!

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