14 January 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: the Battle to Maintain Sound Mind & Body


For those out there contemplating writing a will, I recommend you do it before you have children.  REALLY, do it before you have children!

Most wills start out “Being of sound mind and body...”  Once you have a child you will never get either back again – your mind or your body.  The problem multiplies exponentially when you have more children, and it doesn’t get any better with age – yours or theirs.

I can remember texting my youngest, Thing 4, when he was in high school.  “Who’s picking you up from school?  Me or your brother?”  The answer was “Yes.”  

Where do you go with that?  We texted back and forth for about 30 minutes.  The answers were the same, ambiguous, bologna.  My mind was completely blown by the time we got done.  I did pick him up from school, and the whole office got cheap entertainment watching me go –crazy- over just trying to figure out WHO was getting my youngest child from school.

Another time I got stuck in court and couldn’t pick Thing 4 from up from school on time.  He was asked in the office for the phone number of alternate transport.  His answer was “Gramma.”  Okay, that’s good, what’s the number and what’s her name?  Again, he answered “Gramma.”  He couldn’t come up with a phone number or name, but his UNCLE was a teacher at the school!  His grandmother’s step-son.  They share the same last name!  Bang my head against a brick wall and hope for a little return of sanity!  It just hasn’t happened yet.

One of the Things’ favorite entertainments was swinging on vines across the creek behind the house.  Did they talk me into trying it?  Yes, they did.  That was BIG mistake. 

Twenty years ago I was in decent shape, not very coordinated, but physically more capable than I am now.  I’m not in bad shape for my age, but my coordination hasn’t improved and when I do something stupid my chiropractor –loves- me for it.

Anyway, Mama grabbed the vine, swung across the creek – it was an AWESOME ride!  I just didn’t have the coordination, or knowledge, that I had to turn around when I got to the other side of the creek to bounce off the tree.  SLAM went my back into a tree, BAM went my body into the creek, and the boys got cereal for supper that night after I managed to crawl up the trail to the house.  Fun times…

There was a whole decade that my mother was afraid when I invited her for supper.  She –knew- I was going to tell her I was pregnant again.  Not that she doesn’t love her grandchildren, but yet another one…  She’s up to 12 grandchildren now.  NOT ALL MINE!  My siblings have helped a gracious plenty.  I’m not sure that I can keep up with all the great-grandchildren, but I call my mom every April Fool’s Day to tell her I’m pregnant again.  

We don’t ever grow up.  Not in my family, anyway.  Older, yes – grow up, no.  The last time I went to visit my grandmother my cousin and I decided to short-sheet her bed.  We forgot she’s only 4’2”.  She never had a clue… 

Heaven help –my- grandmother!  She’s working on great-great grandchildren.

May the tradition carry on!!!    

Bess Tuggle




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