22 August 2011

You're young enough to cliff dive, Mom

On Saturday, Mel and I met up with Calvin and Reed downtown to watch this year’s cliff diving competition. That’s right, cliff diving. We watched men jump off the 88 foot ICA into the Boston Harbor, doing dives I’ve only ever seen before in the Olympics. It was amazing. Our favorite diver was named Slava Polyeshchuk. His name was cool, but really I loved him because he was 45. 45 years old and diving off 88 foot buildings. Wild. He didn’t win (poor Slava), but he was still the most impressive because of his age. Which, today, is the same age as my mother. I hope she doesn’t care that I just broadcasted that on the internet. But when I mentioned the similarity to Calvin, his response was, “Your mom is a baby.” So 45 is young, Mom. You know Malone thinks so too.

The older I get—and we know that 23 is so, so much older than 45—the more I realize that I am becoming my mother. At times this concerns me, because if the pattern follows and she becomes her mother and my grandma becomes her mother then that means eventually I’ll be like my Great-Grandma Marge, and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with that (though don’t get me wrong, I love Grandma Marge). But the fact that our birthdays are a mere two weeks apart has always made it easy to compare. To play Dad’s favorite game, “If your life were like your mother’s,” I’d be married three years with a one-year-old. Strange thought.

Really though, I’ve inherited many excellent qualities (and maybe a few not so excellent) from my mom:

My love of Gone with the Wind. It was her favorite book first. And her mom’s before that. I’m sensing a strong pattern here.

My love of shoes (though, thankfully, not her wide feet). I’ve been told when my parents were first married my mom had about a hundred pairs of shoes, and Dad’s brothers were astounded when they helped them move into their new apartment. But they didn’t grow up with girls, so they wouldn’t understand.

My love of American history. My mom majored in American Studies and seriously considered going to law school (then she got married and had me instead). Don’t tell my grandpa, but there is always a part of me that wishes I could go to law school.

My love and knowledge of the English language. I’m a bit more (okay, a lot more) fanatic about linguistics than my mom, but she certainly instilled in all of her children a desire to read, and an ability to use words well. While on newspaper staff in high school, if we could not come to an editing agreement Malone would have me call my mom, and she was the deciding vote. We went with her every time. I still ask her opinion on occasion when I can’t remember something and Chicago is unavailable.

My love of studying medical information. My mom loves to hear about illnesses, surgeries, the way the body works. I, too, like it as long as I don’t have to see anything. I loved living with premed/nursing/public health roommates while at BYU so I could ask questions and learn a little bit about their anatomy/physiology/virology classes. They’re fascinating. And maybe part of the reason I’m a bit of a hypochondriac.

My love of mystery/detective shows and books. Mom still watches Perry Mason and Magnum P.I. when she folds laundry. I introduced her to Psych and Bones, and I think she’d probably like Covert Affairs. She let me read all her Nancy Drew novels as a little girl, and I’ve read every Mary Higgins Clark book in our house and Grandma’s multiple times (except for A Cry in the Night because that one still creeps me out too much). We both love Laurie King’s Mary Russell series too, though sadly my mom does not share my love of Sherlock Holmes. But she might like John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps. That one was a lot of fun.

My love of garlic and chocolate (but not together). French bread is a frequent purchase, sometimes not making it out of the store completely whole. Mom keeps brownie mix in constant food storage rotation, and whenever it is 10 for $10 at the store I purchase at least four boxes. We also have at least three cartons of ice cream in the house at any given time, but I have a feeling that’s more a product of Grandpa Nels and Dad than it is of my mom.

My love of design. I realized that my attraction to the design aspect of publishing is probably due in part to my mom’s scrapbooking. I don’t scrapbook like she does (I still haven’t finished my Jerusalem book and it’s been almost three years), but scrapbooking is very design-oriented. I think that’s probably part of the reason I can see things so well, even if I’m not as good at producing them myself.

My love of knowing things. I want to know everything that is going on with everybody. Not to use the information, just to store it away in my head. I get this from my mother.

My love of classy decoration. My mom has a specific style when it comes to paints, fabrics, furniture, light fixtures, handles, appliances, and anything else with which you fill a home. It’s an excellent style, and other people appreciate her opinion (Mom helped Lisa with some decisions in the new house, and they were quite lovely). While my own style deviates slightly from hers, I definitely get my sense of home décor from her.

On her 40th birthday.

Happy birthday, Mom! You could dive off a cliff if you wanted, you're still young. I hope you at least make Megan and Jessie take you to Brick Oven for dinner since you're in Provo. Or Los Hermanos. Oh, and eat a mint brownie! And Graham Canyon ice cream. Man, I wish I could come too.


  1. Your mom is pretty awesome, Allie! I laughed out loud at your Grandma Marge comments. Fun, fun post :)

  2. You are right! You do have a lot of qualities of your mother's - and of mine. Did you know I was a history minor? Loved history! I also read all the Nancy Drew books when I was younger - the summer I turned 10 I went to the library twice a week and came home with 3 or 4 new ones until I had been through all the library had. I also enjoy mystery shows - but not shoes. Did when I was younger, though. I definitely hope you don't end up like Grandma Marge - I hope none of us do! I have made the choice to be happy - I hope you have, too! But, I hope we all live as long a life - with better health. Your mom is a GREAT 45 year old - good genes :)

  3. This list is so cute--I love it! (Can you tell I'm back on a PC from my lack of legitimate em dashes?)

    Your mom sounds great! Happy birthday to her!