formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Little Brown-Noser

It’s time for the weekly Writer’s Workshop! If you’re not familiar with it, head over to Mama’s Losin’ It and check out Kathy’s prompts, then visit some of the other blogs listed in Mr. Linky… you won’t be disappointed!

This week I chose “Ask a loved one to describe you with 6 descriptive words. How well do they know you?”

I asked my 9-year-old daughter, Ryan, to do it for me, as I figured her words would be quite funny, though potentially quite embarrassing! But I promised myself I was going to tell you whatever she said because I’m brave that way (and by ‘brave’ I mean ‘stupid’). As always, she went above and beyond expectations. It took her over two hours (she even skipped Hannah Montana!), and not only did she give me six (really wonderful) words, she also detailed the reasons she chose each one. Here they are, exactly as she wrote them (well, with a few very minor spelling corrections)…

1. Open-minded – You always make sure I hear both sides of the story even when you feel really strongly about one side. You also tell me I have to make my own choices and not believe something just because YOU believe it.

2. Highly Intelligent – You always know the answers to the questions I ask you. And if you don’t know the answer then you look it up, but you don’t have to look stuff up that often.

3. Beautiful – You always show me that true beauty comes from within but I still think you’re beautiful on the outside too.

4. Funny – You make me laugh so hard that sometimes I snort stuff out my nose and that’s really AWESOME!

5. Interesting – You have lots of interests and you always make sure you take me to interesting places like DC, museums, the theater and historical places.

6. Amazing – You just ARE! And here is why:

a. Every kid I know loves you.
b. You’re not scared of ANYTHING! (She obviously didn't see my Barnabas Collins post... shhhhhhhh... don't tell her!)
c. You take me camping to the coolest places. You make the best fires and can put up a tent FAST! You’re not scared to sleep in the woods and I’m never scared when I’m with you.
d. You coach on my swim team and you cheer the loudest of all the moms. And you tell me to swim like HELL and no other mom I know would say THAT!
e. Sometimes you’re scary when you get mad but then you hug me instead of yelling at me, and that’s really nice and makes me feel better.
f. You talk to me like I’m not a kid and you always tell me the truth (at least I think you do. You better!!!).
g. You help people like at the homeless shelter.
h. You teach me that doing things is a lot more important than getting stuff, but you still always buy me a souvenir when we go to new places!
i. You’re just the best mom EVER!

Honestly, I expected to read words like strict, tough, goofy, weird, dorky, and possibly even mean. I figured I’d get some nice ones, too (I am the one who hands out the allowance, after all), but I wasn’t expecting what I got. It made me cry. It completely and thoroughly overwhelmed me.

The prompt asks, “How well do they know you?” Well, I don’t know, really. Everything she said I do, I do, but still, I don’t always (or often) feel the way she described me… fearless, beautiful, and amazing are not words I ever apply to myself. I will say, however, that Ryan’s list describes, in large part, not just the mother I want to be, but the person I want to be. So maybe all I have to do to be that person is strive to be the woman my daughter already believes I am. And maybe I also have to try harder to see myself the way she sees me, instead of the way I do.

And I very seriously hope she isn’t just brown-nosing because she’s planning to hit me up for a Wii next week.

43 comments:

Cari said...

I've been waiting for this all day, since you emailed me about it this morning. WOW...listen to your kid!! Believe her....sometimes children say the simplest things, things that should be staring us right in the face, but we fail to see it, because we are looking for something more complicated. You are doing a great job! Proof is how Ryan sees you and believes in you. Though she will still most likely hit you up for the Wii so remind her about letter 'h'

Cat said...

Awwwww ::sniffle:: can I call you Mommy?

Diane said...

Cari... thanks. You know that means a lot coming from you, since you've known Ryan since she was born and you've been there (figuratively if not literally) for all the crap we've been through.

Cat... as long as you don't do it in a perverted way ;)

Heather said...

This was seriously one of the sweetest things I've ever read. You made me get all teary eyed! Not cool, you know I'm emotional!
But seriously, Ryan seems to see you pretty clearly. You seem like an amazing mother. And I love that you tell her to "swim like hell." That's funny. :)

Michelle said...

So, Diane, in the very short time i've known you, and of course we've never met in person, but i truly believe that dear Ryan hit it exactly right in using those six words. Sure, nobody is perfect, not even me but still she knows you best. She just knows you. That came from her heart and she didn't just make it up to get recognition on your blog. Damn, i'm getting all teary eyed now!!

She is a great kid, and you my dear are a great person. Inside and out!!!

Thanks for being a friend!!!

Braja said...

Hmmm....the Wii element DOES add some suspiciousness...

However, a nice exercise to do together...well done :)

Lee said...

I know there will be bad days but overall I reckon that you should keep her.

Diane said...

Heather... you should have seen her face the first time I said it to her (I try hard not to swear in front of her). And she does swim like HELL! ;)

Michelle... awwww... thanks! Right back atcha!

Braja... yeah, I know. I've got my 'money doesn't grow on trees' speech all ready... just in case.

Lee... yeah, most days I feel that way. On the days I don't, I look at her baby pictures to remind myself of how sweet she used to be.

Jen L. said...

Hey, Jen L. here, Heather's cousin! Great post! I love that you gave this assignment to your daughter. I thought of giving it to my dad, but became terrified that he would tell mortifying childhood stories.

Pillars of the Earth is my all-time favorite book, by the way! My husband and I re-read it every year. Except this year. Because we had a baby.

Mel said...

Aw! I'm honored to be your friend and her godmother! That makes me proud of the people you both are! Very, very proud!

Protege said...

Gosh, this was so beautiful! I am touched to tears. Ryan is a treasure and she is as talented as her mom. You must be so proud of her; she is the daughter of any mothers dreams.;))

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

I love that you tell her to swim like hell. thats great. WOW. She did an amazing job with this list, which should make you feel great, because after all, you've helped her shape herself into this wonderful young lady.

You shoudl be so proud of yourself and her.

Anonymous said...

I gotta support her assessments on the three you question a bit. Fearless, anyone that can stand up to their family for their own convictions has got some big juevos. We all know that our loved ones are harder on us than most. Beautiful (and she hit it for the right reason), because inner beauty is what matters especially in this day and age of botox and body enhancments, who we are is way more important than how we look (but you rook mahvarous!) And amazing, because anyone who can handle raising a child on their own has got to be amazing, it takes so much work and commitment.

Raiaing your girl to believe what she believes even if it contradicts you is awesome. It is a huge step in preppin g her for dealing with all those in life that try to control others.

Great Post!!

OOYSA

Ronda's Rants said...

That is a great list...I want you to hold on to that list because possibly she will feel somewhat differently at 14!
She will go back to liking you at about 6 months into college...at least all of mine did!
Although...even now I don't think my children like me that much...good job Mom!

Shanna said...

That was awesome. Really really great! She's such a great kid! Telling her to swim like hell is soooo something my mom or grandma would have done with me - you know if they had put me in ANYthing. But it's awesome ;)

Comedy Goddess said...

I love this! You are keeping this for you both right? Too beautiful!

The Odd Duck said...

It takes A LOT to make me want to cry Diane. Congratulations, you have me starting to tear up.

Sam_I_am said...

She's such an awesome kid. I particularly love number 4.

Sometimes Sophia said...

OMG This post is such a treasure. Ryan's analysis is wonderful and lovely and you soooo deserve it.
You must be both humbled and made proud by her words. What a beautiful thing to share. Thanks.

Heinous said...

I'm pretty sure she's bang on. At least you know she's truthful :)

Maithri said...

Wow!! This made me all misty eyed...

Even if she is lookin to hit you up for a wii... (theres a sentence i dont say every day lol)

Her words are so full of LOVE -innocent, no-nonsense, deep and abiding, pass the tissues youre makin me cry, love..

I wish i could give you both a big hug....

Much love beautiful friend, M

J Cosmo Newbery said...

To see ourselves as others see us.

Have you ever tried the Johari Window?

jill said...

wow...she's nine?! what an incredibly insightful kid...and what a testimony to you! this was a beautiful post.

Henry the Dog said...

That was lovely, Diane. She is one clever, sweet little pup. However, perhaps the Wii..........
Only kiddin:)

Anonymous said...

Aw, that's cute.

I mean its not worth having a kid for but it IS cute.....

Todd

Mama Wheaton said...

Sometimes kids really do see the real us, the person we are trying to be. She sounds like she got it right!

Jenners said...

I have never actually gotten teary during a post so this is the first time. Tell your daughter she knocked it out of the park. Honestly, this was the most amazing thing to read. I just feel your daughter's love for you and see the wonderful woman that you are teaching her to be and are yourself. Get her the Wii -- get her anything she wants -- because this gift she gave you is amazing and I know you'll treasure it forever.

Summer said...

That is very sweet! Makes me more excited to have my kids grow up a little more.

Heatherlyn Colt said...

I found you from the Mr. Linky, and wow, what a fantastic list! Even with the explanation. You must be all the things your daugher says because what an amazing daughter!

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

That was really beautiful...

I am not as brave as you.

You should be VERY VERY proud of your daugther... She expresses herself beautifully!

Melissa said...

awwww, very sweet!!! And hey, if she does hit you up for Wii...well, she does deserve it right??? :) (brown-nosing always works...he-he!!)

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness, can I adopt her? She is awesome.

Kristin said...

4. Funny – You make me laugh so hard that sometimes I snort stuff out my nose and that’s really AWESOME!

Now that is true love.

Drama Mama said...

That. was. AWESOME! Can I send you my kids? Wanna trade. We have a wii. I'll give it to you.

blueviolet said...

That was wonderful and you're doing everything just right for her to sum you up that way. Good job, Mom! And what an adorable daughter you have there.

Jen said...

what a sweet sweet girl, what ever her reasons.

KatieZ said...

Sounds like tru-love to me! She obviously idolizes you, so you are doing something right! I bet you really are all those great things! Cuz if you weren't, you can bet that your daughter would be the one to say so! Good for you for being such a great mom!

Anonymous said...

You are soooo loved. This was beautiful, I think you're doing an amazing job as a mom.

Heather's M

La Pixie said...

I understand what you mean. I felt the same way with the words that I was given. its a lot to live up to!

SouthernBelle said...

OMG, what a fantastic post!

I am sitting at my desk at work trying not to start sobbing like a little baby, because it's so beautiful!

: D

Shala said...

THAT was so sweet and it is so neat that she took her time to do this. It sounds like she is a good kid and that you two are lucky to have each other. By the way the picture is adorable.

Mama Kat said...

She's so SMART! I love this!! I mean she totally adores you...and that's just the way it should be...go get that girl a wii.

creative kerfuffle said...

this is a wonderful post. (i followed your comments from heinous and justsomethoughts). my daughter is 11 (almost 12) so i can relate to this so well. makes me want to ask her to list 6 things about me. what an awesome list yours came up w/!