My books came in the mail today. As soon as I got the chance tonight, I picked this one up and started reading.
Now, I've never read BooMama's blog, but this and BigMama's book came so highly recommended I knew I had to get them. I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about it considering I'm not all that southern (I live in North Carolina and HATE sweet tea. It's like a cardinal sin.), but I read it anyway.
I knew I'd laugh. Even without ever reading her blog, I knew from hearing over and over again that BooMama is one of the funniest voices on the web. And heck, even the "southern stories of faith, family, and fifteen pounds of bacon" had me chuckling. I always like to laugh, so I knew at the very least I wouldn't regret buying or reading this.
I knew I'd cry. Anytime anybody writes about their family, there's going to be sentiment involved, and I'm a sucker for a touching family story.
What I didn't expect was how much I'd do of both. How I could be laughing hysterically on one page and tearing up on the next. I didn't expect how contrasting pieces of the story seemed to be, yet they flowed together seamlessly, as though this was more than just a collection of miscellaneous stories. I didn't expect to find her mother-in-law so endearing, or that I'd be able to imagine what she said in a thick southern accent like it was an audiobook. I didn't expect to want to go sit around a stranger's kitchen table and talk to a bunch of people that, to me, are nothing more than people in this book.
But most of all, I didn't expect how much this book would teach me about my own family. It taught me to treasure the times where we can just sit around the table, stuffed with delicious food and unable to move, laughing and sharing stories. It taught me to treasure every second I have when my sweet nephew is this innocent, because before I know it, I'll be going to his wedding. It taught me to pay attention to my mom and grandma, and the lessons they can teach me without words getting in the way. It taught me to look at my sisters, as different as we are, as children made by God and just as treasured and just as important as me. It taught me to let go of the small things, the ones I might tend to hold on to as a grudge. It reminded me to fight for the people that I love. It reminded me that "football is a great game, but it's an awful God." It gave me a glimpse into the kind of mother I want to be one day, and taught me that sometimes what I think I want is different from what God knows I need, and to be open to all of it.
I may not be the "target audience" that Sophie had in mind, but the lessons I took away from this sweet and salty book are ones I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Thanks, Sophie. You've gained a new reader.