Saturday, May 8, 2010

About Lydia's Aunt Mary

You may not know it, but my Aunt Mary is sort of an important part of MommyLand. If you hang out with us on Facebook, you've no doubt heard of her.  She's written a special post for everyone for Mother's Day and it goes up tomorrow.  So for those of you who don't know about her, here's why she's so special to us.

When we started this blog last fall, we were too shy to tell anyone that we were doing it. So for the first few months Kate and I were posting things, we would just sometimes share stuff on our Facebook status or email something to someone, very carefully not letting on that it was us who wrote it.

Then I started getting Aunt Mary comments. Here’s an example:

  • If you’re talking about the Methadone Clinic on Perry Street, your Uncle Richard used to work there.
  • That was very funny, Lydia. Would you like a Hello Kitty sandwich maker?
  • Aunt Mary is still recovering from sleep deprivation and will often fall asleep when she sits quietly for more than 15 minutes; in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, on a park bench, in the theatre, at the library.
So I would say to Kate: “Ooh! There’s another Aunt Mary comment today. I just love them.” And Kate would sort of look at me funny and say: “Sure you do…” because she thought I was writing the Aunt Mary comments. She thought I was doing it to create an awesome fictional character who refers to themselves in the third person and is called: My Aunt Mary from North Carolina.

But she’s real. And she’s wonderful. And she was one of the very few people who knew it was me right away.

My Aunt Mary has been married to my dad’s brother forever and is a mother of three (all of whom are now out in the world – the youngest still in college). She is a gifted quilter and painter, exhibiting and selling her work in galleries and shows. She is a no-nonsense kind of person who can do pretty much anything. She is unfailingly kind to the young, old and canine. She is a Quaker.

When she comes to visit you, it’s not like a normal visit from a relative. First, she rids the house of men, brings you a cup of tea and tells you to sit down. She then proceeds to bake pita bread from scratch while knitting baby socks and training an unruly, snappy dog, while simultaneously settling a fussy baby. When the dog is sitting obediently, the quiet baby is wearing her new socks and happily munching warm pita, Aunt Mary will clean your kitchen and bring you another cup of tea. And then teach your 5 and 3 year olds a watercolor technique that will have them working quietly for the next three hours. Then she’ll sit down for a few minutes. Then she’s up again and the next thing you know she’s stripped all the beds and taken out the garbage. By the time the boys get back, the house is clean (not it’s usual state), everyone is calm and happy, and we’re ready to start eating vegetarian chili and playing Apples to Apples.

Kate was eventually convinced that Aunt Mary was real (she got a quilt) and fell in love with her. Then people on Facebook started loving her, too. So Kate decided that Aunt Mary should become a descriptive term. When something is unusual, awesome and a little out there – it’s “Aunt Mary”. Look for it in the MDR.

On Friday, Aunt Mary told us she had written a Mother’s Day greeting for all of us and asked us to please post it. So check back tomorrow for some words of wisdom from the lady herself.

And Aunt Mary, thank you for supporting me and loving me even though I am sort of crazy and the product of a ridiculous upbringing. Thank you for making me feel like I’m doing a good job when I think I’m mucking it all up. Thank you for giving me an example of the sort of person who walks in when most would walk out, who takes care of life’s most difficult tasks with good will and efficiency and who is always honest and true to herself.

You’re a total badass.

xo, Lydia

PS: The Cap'n and the kids planted flowers today and called all the yellow ones AuntMarigolds.

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