I Wanna Be Like You.

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She wears a house coat, 5 shirts, and slippers with 3 pairs of socks.

She puts her teeth in for hot paramedics, pushes them an inch out of her mouth for pictures, and fusses at me when she hears I share stories like that on Facebook.

She bribes me to come home with fried chicken, fried potatoes, and fried okra and every time cooks me two grilled cheeses when I only ever eat one.

She tells the same story a hundred times, but I love each recounting as much as her cooking.

She makes me a carrot cake from scratch every year for my birthday, and with each first bite we laugh about the “hurricane cake” incident where we all nearly choked on skewers meant to hold the layers together.

She makes up the rules for Dirty Santa every Christmas Eve, and we all laugh and argue because they’re never right.

She’s inventive, so when she runs out of milk she tries substitutes like coffee creamer in the mashed potatoes, and waits for me or my cousin to make a face or the first comment.

She is unapologetically and beautifully herself, and anyone rocking beside her feels the same way.

She chooses her new recliners so they’re big enough for both her AND the dog.

If she had a bird, its only sentence would be, “Flash, go to bed!” followed by a description of where each dog sleeps every night.

She tells me she’s proud of me, and only blinked once at my tattoo.

She says I can get married and have babies when their ain’t nothin’ better to do, and my life is richer because I believe her.

She’s says she lives for us “youngins” and anyone is always welcome exactly as they are.

She frames finished puzzles and has long run out of wall space, so they collect dust under the beds.

She can cook, talk, and listen, better than anyone I know. She is the kindest, quirkiest, most beautiful person inside and out and all I do every day is everything to be just like her.

So when I’m homesick I fry okra, crush on the weatherman, and work outside.

I take goofy pictures, stitch my pants, drop needles in my bed, and talk to my dog like a person.

I remember God and forget to be serious, shell butterbeans, and make my friends fat.

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know exactly who I want to become. One day I hope my grandkids tell stories about me, and when they do I want to be as weird and wonderful as my own Granny in every way. 

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