There are women in this world who are the proud and protective lionesses of their respective packs. In hearing many of your stories working on the next book, I am getting the distinct sense that there is an inordinate amount of these Mama Lions from here in West Virginia. Perhaps it is the rugged terrain and having to survive on the outskirts of humanity for so many generations. Maybe it is a mechanism of raising children amongst abject poverty as the butt of many a national joke. Or, it could simply be a cultural ilk that makes Appalachian mamas a force with which to be reckoned. Whatever the case may be, I am so very proud to know you.
In particular, I have the best of the best. (Allow me a few moments to brag, please.) My mother languished in the West Virginia public school system when she clawed her way through it. Yet, she sat with us every single day and read. We were read to and sat mesmerized by her beautiful voice, complete with voices for each new character. Our bedtime routine meant a nightly performance of whatever Dr. Seuss book we were obsessed with at the moment. She cared enough to work with us and ensure that we had the tools to be successful. I am coming to the stark realization that life is not about how much affluence one comes from or how many letters are after their name. What really makes the difference (in my humble and as of yet, non-evidenced based conjecture…but, stay tuned dear reader) is having the support of healthy adults in your world that take the time to play, read, and interact with their children.
Here is some lioness advice. Turn off those damn smartphones when spending time with people you love! The only thing smart about your kids will be their mouths if all they see of you is your twaddling thumbs!
Thanks Mama Leoni.