My Mom and the Beach Boys

beachHow is it possible that watching the Grammy Award show can make someone cry?  Well, if one of the performances makes you think of someone who is no longer with you by stirring up a good memory, then you might cry.

So – there I sat last night watching the show with the intention of enjoying a performance by the Civil Wars (who, by the way, won both of the Grammy Awards for which they were nominated) when the Beach Boys take the stage.  Their song made me think of a great memory that I have with my mom.

Mom managed rental properties for owners, and sometimes we traveled to visit places out of town to make sure that things were going well.  On one of her trips, she took me (and possibly my brother) along.  I do not remember why – maybe she wanted to spend time with us or maybe we did not have school. For whatever reason, though, we were along.

To pass the time, we listened to music in the car.  We all love to sing, so we sang along. Mom would turn up the music super loud, and we would sing as loudly to match it.  We did not really care how we sounded, and it was so fun.

One of our favorite cassettes (yes, it was cassettes in the car “back then”) was a compilation of the Beach Boys’ greatest hits.  We would just sing and sing and sing.

Our favorite song – Surfin’  – had this great little bass ditty that I would sing super loud:

Bom Bom Dit Di Dit Dip
Bom Bom Dit Di Dit Dip

It was hilarious, and we had a lot of fun.

The thing about this memory is that it is just one of the many goofy things that my mom did to make life fun.  The singing bit is pretty normal, but is coming up with an alternate personality normal?

I actually think it was pretty normal given the circumstance

When she was a single mom for a few years, my mom had her share of frustrating moments.  I was almost three and my brother only a few months old, when my mom started to raise us on her own.  Things could get a little nutty, I can only imagine.  Now that I have my own kids, I shake my head thinking about how things must have been for her.

Rather than go batty or scream or do crazy things that I am sure she was tempted to do when she had had enough of our behavior, mom had an alternate personality – Gertrude – who would “come out” when needed.

Do not misunderstand, my mom did not actually have a personality disorder.

Rather, my mom was super creative and found a way to cope with the stresses of being a single mom.  Gertrude would scold us in a mean voice, but my brother and I would start laughing right away.  Our behavior would change almost instantly as she berated us for being mean, horrible children who were ungrateful for the work that our mother did for us. She would tell us that we should be nicer to our mom, and – actually – she was right.

It was honestly hilarious.

These are some of the favorite memories I have of my mom.  When someone leaves so soon in life (she was 53 years old), there are only so many memories.  I am so glad to have these fun memories of her.

And I guess – once again – I was caught by surprise at what would remind me of her.

Thanks, Grammy Awards!

1 Comment

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One response to “My Mom and the Beach Boys

  1. Ah….what a wonderful memory! Music has the ability to reach into the places of our heart and memory as nothing else can, doesn’t it?


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