People always say that my sister looks like my mom, and I sound like my mom.
Meaning me and my mom literally have the same loud voice, and the same tendency to sing words rather than say them. Because for us, ‘hello’ just doesn’t sound right unless it’s done to a melody. Goodbye is even worse. We are fundamentally unable to keep the word ‘bye’ to one syllable. Instead it has to be elongated to ‘byyyyyyeeeeee’, and said in roughly the same frequency to that of a dog whistle.
After 27 years it’s kind of grown on me, but I’ll be the first to admit how annoying it can be.
Given the choice I would have always preferred to have my mom’s perfect skin, or her skinny legs, or her natural ability to whistle louder than a car stereo – but she didn’t give me any of those. She gave me the voice.
But as it turns out she’s responsible for giving me something else also. Something I never knew came from her. Something she forgot she even had.
Let me explain, let me explain…
A few Saturdays ago I was having a whale of a time rifling through my nan’s cupboards. It was a lovely afternoon where everything got very nostalgic, and all the sentences started with, “remember when…”
Wedged between the Noddy jigsaw puzzle my sister probabaly never let me play with, and the Dairy Book of Home Management (a baffling sort of a book which contains advice on everything from how to carve a chicken, to how to knit socks, to how tile the bathroom – seriously) I found one of my mom’s old school work books. And as it turns out, she was quite the storyteller.
She wrote a story about a mermaid long before Disney went under the sea, and wrote a poem about snow way, way, way before Elsa made it cool, and invented Captain Jack long before Johnny Depp had ever seen a script. If I didn’t know any better I would have said my nan has secretly been selling my mom’s old books to the Disney producers all of these years -but that’s just my over-active imagination talking. (That and the fact that – unlike Disney Jack – original Captain Jack didn’t actually like being a Captain. He liked taking the jewels, but he shirked on any actual Captain work.)
So yeah, she did some good stories. Maybe she’ll release them as Linda Cramphorn originals one day. Or maybe they’ll just stay in my nan’s cupboard until the next Saturday afternoon nostalgia session.
Either way I’m glad I found them. Not just because they were a pleasant read, but because I now another reason to be grateful for my mom.
She’s the one who gave me the storytelling gene. That beats skinny legs any day.