Katie and I watched Fried Green Tomatoes last night. It’s times like that when I love having a daughter. Oh, I suppose there are other times I love having a daughter, too. But chillin’ together with a chick flick is just fun.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this movie, but watching it brings up such pleasant memories and emotions. Some things in life are pure Southern – things I’d never even heard of growing up in California. Things like chiggers, crawdads, fried okra, sweet tea that can pass for pancake syrup, kudzu, fried green tomatoes…
There’s a little town just east of Little Rock called Scott that reminds me of the little town in the movie. In Scott you can find a shack of a famous restaurant, the back of which is on stilts over a creek, called Cotham’s Mercantile. It was built in 1917, has been a general store, a jail and a military commissary. Regardless of how primitive, the joint is always jumping. I’ve seen it packed from wall to wall with distinguished business people from Little Rock and farmers alike.
Another thing about the movie is the mythical warrior Towanda they call on for courage. When I was going through chemotherapy I was part of a wonderful on-line community of women who all started treatment in June of 2005. Towanda was a part of our kicking cancer’s butt attitude.
The day after my last treatment, November 23, 2005, my family took me to a Build-A-Bear where I was told to pick out whichever animal I wanted. I chose a white teddy bear and when we had it stuffed Todd pulled out four sound chips – one for each paw. He and the kids had recorded messages about my courage and how much they loved me.
I named the bear Towanda because she’s a symbol of how I had gone all Bruce Lee, Jet Lee and Tommy Lee on my cancer. She sits next to my glider in the sitting room and I see her every morning – assuming I get out of my pajamas. And now Katie gets why I named the bear Towanda.
Todd was out of town on business and Taylor was at a Student Leadership meeting at church last night. I had told Taylor to come tell me goodnight when he got home because I was pretty sure I’d be watching TV in bed by then. I heard him come in, heard the lock click and the porch light switch clack, heard him go into the kitchen and I relaxed. I promptly fell asleep, only to be jarred awake by this big kid jumping onto the bed to tell his mama goodnight.
As shocking as that was I must admit I loved it. Here’s my baby boy who is taller than I am; has a girlfriend; is starting to think about college and what he may want to be when he grows up; and I saw a glimpse of the little boy he used to be. We chatted for a little bit — or he chatted and I mumbled — and then he kissed me, said, “I love you”, went off to bed and I fell back to sleep with a big grin on my face.
Hangin’ and giggling with the girl and getting some mama love from the boy. Yeah. It’s good to be me.