Mother’s Day Essay Contest for The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS

Nancy Hanks-Myers

Growing up, my mother made me costumes, not clothes. These jumpsuits with ears and tails caused my father great pain. He would say, “Nancy, you can’t take her to the Dairy Queen dressed as a dragon. What will people think?”
My mother would reply, “Stephanie Leanne Hanks Myers … Never worry about what other people think of you. It isn’t worth your time.”  This comment served as a foundation for my fearlessness and led me down many unexpected roads.
Whether it was being the consummate room mother or spinning fabulous tales about Bigfoot, Civil War treasures buried along forgotten fence posts, or putting on all black and running round the backyard in the moonlight with a flashlight covered in red cloth to convince me that a monster called the Big Red Eye roamed freely on the banks of the Amite River, my mother made every day an adventure. Her free spirit has stayed with me all of these years and I like to think she is the reason I carry a little bit of magic in my pocket everyday.
This Mother’s Day, we won’t have brunch.  Instead I will order a cake from Baum’s with butter cream frosting and we will eat it while it is still in the box.