Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Words for the Daily Dash-Day 3

I am now happy to introduce the world to a phrase that has helped me through countless awkward and/or unavoidable situations. This comes courtesy of my mother, who had to shore me up on more than one occasion with these words.

Hold a high head and a booming tail.

My mother, born in 1926 in the Bootheel of Missouri, was a poor country kid. She says she would come home terribly upset at the way the city kids made fun of the country kids. Her mother would tell her that she was just as good as the city kids. And then Grandma would let fly the words printed above. Words that gave her kids the wings they needed to soar above such ridicule.

Thankfully, I've never felt as scorned as my mother did.

But in those moments when my mom needed to embolden my awkward, young, scared heart, she gave me the words her mom had given her.

     In junior high, hair tight with a new perm, and me so dreading going to school...
Hold a high head and a booming tail.
    When I'd tell her I was feeling awkward and dumb in front of a certain group of kids...
Hold a high head and a booming tail. 
    If I expressed nervousness about being in front of people...
Hold a high head and a booming tail.

There was never any push to arrogance in the way my mother encouraged me with those words. It was just the way she summoned confidence.  And it's funny, but even now, when those words run through my mind, I do stand up a little straighter. I hold my head a little higher. And I... well... I stand up a little straighter.

Are you nervous? Feeling awkward? But there's no escaping the situation you find yourself in?

Hold a high head and a booming tail.

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