22 Feb 2013

Five Minute Friday: What mama did

This week four friends have shared unique memories of their mothers with us. Here are parts one (the storytelling) and two (the mashed potatoes) and three (the laughing) and four (the imagining) in the series.

It’s been a gift to unwrap each of them and wonder what my own kids will treasure. The things I never could have imagined they would remember. Way beyond the laundry or dishes or craft projects gone wrong, what things will they take away from my mothering I never could have expected? Never could have planned for?

Today’s your turn. What did your mama do that makes her your mama? Let’s unpack those memories today. Let’s trace our fingers along the lines of the unexpected. The ordinary beauty in a day of motherhood. The food or the laughing or the dancing or the story telling.

Where is your memory buried?

In just five minutes. Tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours….
{and don’t forget to spend some time commenting on the post of the person who linked up just before you}


She danced. Like a lunatic and without embarrassment. In the driveway, around the sagging brown sofas, in dad’s arms and while cleaning out the pool with that long scoop thing. She danced to Bruce Springsteen and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and she reminded us all that we are alive and beautiful and beloved. We would dance with her. We would laugh and dance with her and dad would do the two step that is really the only dance he knows how to do, just reinventing it depending on the tune or the beat or the occasion.

It’s never stopped. We’ve kept on dancing long after we couldn’t hear the echoes of her laughter anymore. We’ve danced at weddings and loved and held one another at funerals. I’ve danced a thousand miles of carpet carrying sleepy babies, begging them to close their eyes and let the music wash over their fever, their temper or their frustration.

Pete danced me into his arms on a wooden floor overlooking a golf course on that August afternoon when Aunt Marcia, Aunt Kim and Aunt Ruth all danced too. They laughed and Nazarene danced for just a moment and I felt their love like waves of music caught up in the moment. Josh dances me around any room and I love that quality in a brother. All those lessons paid off long after the girlfriend left.

We are a family of music lovers and rhythm makers and when an evening winds down around that old pine dining room table at the top of a steep hill there will often be music and dancing. A touch of something new and something old and family that holds hands and arms and faith and memory around the mother who made us and gave us this way to laugh between beats, when days feel tired and broken, there will always still be dancing.



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    I love this picture of your mama. It’s like I can see and feel her laughter and dancing coming right off the screen and filling up the room.

    Thank you for this “permission slip” to take a break each Friday and just write.

  2. 2

    lol, man and I was looking forward to doing FMF this week… can’t say my mom did anything but la in bed for the 40 years of my life… oh well..

  3. 3

    lol, man and I was looking forward to doing FMF this week… can’t say my mom did anything but lay in bed for the 40 years of my life and never was a mom… oh well..

  4. 4

    What a sweet legacy to lay claim to… there is hardly anything more fitting to most emotions and needs than dancing.

  5. 5

    GREAT GREAT GREAT topic this week. Thanks for hosting every week Lisa-Jo. This is awesome!

  6. 6

    LOVED this series this week!

  7. 7

    My Mama danced too, I’ve been thinking about it all week, what would she really want me to share with the world, where the the pearls in the pain. I’ve been going over mine all week as therapy so it’s not a true FMF… Thank you for the therapy.

  8. 8

    My momma made time in her day for me. We lived on 10 acres with huge gardens and animals, my dad was gone a lot leaving her to manage the land and the house but she still made time for my sister and I each day. It might have been an evening cuddle on the couch where she stroked my hair, or a backwards dinner, ice cream first! . In summer time she took us to the beach after dinner, in winter she came out and watched us play in a rare snowfall. In spring she came out to my track meets and cheered me on. In fall it was long walks to look a leaves. No matter how busy my momma was she always had time for me. Oh how I miss her, I cannot wait until I see her again and cuddle up in her arms and say thank you once again for always having time for me.

  9. 9

    It sounds like your mom helped to make your life fun. What a gift that is! Life can be difficult but how wonderful to dance through the seasons. I loved this prompt as it was 8 years ago yesterday since my mom died. It gave me the opportunity to be concise in what I most remember about my mother. Thank you for this Lisa-Jo.

    Blessings and love,

  10. 10

    My mom told me, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” To this day, I’m amazed at how many people don’t realize the truth of that statement. Also, when I was 6 or 7 and obsessed with “best friends” (as girls of that age often are) I asked her, “Mommy, who is your best friend?” I was expecting her to say Amy, the high school friend who I am named after but instead she paused a moment, then said, “Daddy would have to be my best friend, because I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with him.” Amazing wisdom to give to a 7 year old and I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I’ve never forgotten it.

  11. 11

    I didn’t anticipate going into this the way that I did, but I’m happy with what came out. My “heart lists” are a regular feature on my blog and it seemed appropriate to apply one to my mom.

    (Added my link a second time because the first one didn’t go through correctly.)

  12. 12

    Awesome prompt this week. Last week my beloved was my mom, and this week I get to brag about her again. Thanks Lisa.

  13. 13

    I love your post. I felt drawn into your family room, and felt like I could see you all dancing, laughing. I imagined you all as children, and in my minds eye envisioned children’s heads leaned back with mouths wide open laughing, as you held hand and danced. What great memories and traditions. Laughter is medicine to the soul. And dancing so freeing. Thank you for sharing such great, real memories.

  14. 14

    My mother is the best in the whole wide world. I’m so blessed to have her as my mom and God sure matched us up perfectly. She has always been my biggest fan and she is my hero. she has taught me how to love and be loved she has always been on the sidelines cheering me on and believing in me. My best memory is she always tucked me in at night and said my prayers with me and always rubbed my back till I feel asleep.

  15. 15

    Lisa-Jo, I always love the stories you share about your mom! The memories you write about paint a a picture of true beauty for all of us to see. As always THANK YOU for hosting the Five Minute Friday, encouraging us to share our stories as well.

  16. 16

    This is so sweet. There was a lot of music and dancing in my family while I was growing up… Have a wonderful day :)

  17. 17

    How wonderful that dance and music was a theme in your lives. I love to dance — but there’s not a lot of dancers in my clan. I learned it was okay to be by myself — crank the music — and dance while cleaning house.

  18. 18

    Brought tears to my eyes. Love this because this isn’t what my mama did, this is what I do. And most of the time my kids look at me like I’m crazy. But I see the smile they’re trying to hide. :)

  19. 19

    My parents were dancers too! They met at a dance, and they used to go out dancing when we were small. I remember how pretty my mom looked in her fancy dresses and sparkly jewelry.

    My daughter’s father was my ball room dance partner, so dancing is definitely the gateway drug! But she’s a super daughter, and I hope she has some nice memories of me!

  20. 20

    Best line “They laughed and Nazarene danced…..” I got 16 hours of community service for dancing during college – Nazarene college. They take the whole “no dancing” think pretty seriously. So if you can get one to dance, that’s really sayin’ somethin’. Nice job!

  21. 26

    What made my MAMA mine?
    Her making sure my brother and I were loved not only by our family but by God. The most important gift, my mom said, she could EVER give my brother and I was the knowledge of and love for God and she’s right because that is the one gift that never goes out of style and as long as planet Earth exists, will be needed. :)
    When I was a child, my mom taught my brother and I to learn our first words in true master teacher form (my mom was a teacher and the time and has been a Principal for over 15 years now)…she wrote basic words written in perfect black ink penmanship on index cards and used it to label just about EVERYTHING around the house: mirror, wall, piano, stool, chair, couch…she would incorporate these labels into our everyday conversation as we walked about the house.
    Forgiveness. My mom taught us the importance of forgiveness. She’s been through a lot yet she always forgives those who have offended or hurt her and people have changed for the better because of it.

  22. 27

    LOVED this, Lisa-Jo! When I first read the prompt, I thought I would go in one direction but as the keys started clicking… well – as is usually the case, God took it somewhere else!

    My Mama didn’t dance… but I do… and I pray that it is one thing that my grandkids want to do with me one day! (One day… far far away!) ;)

  23. 28

    What you wrote was amazing and beautiful and such a fun visual Lisa-Jo! Really liked what you had to say .

  24. 29

    this made me smile! :) i dance with my girls and my man and i hope that my girls remember that when they dance with their little ones.

    thanks you!

  25. 30

    Love this one this week. It made me focus on the good memories and was exactly what I needed. Thank you for sharing.

  26. 31

    It’s 10:10 at night and this is the first thing I have been able to read today that wasn’t related to 5th grade curriculum or volunteer work for our gymnastics academy. What a blessing to read your words – a reminder of why we do the things we do. I needed this picture, this feeling of joy, to put in perspective all the many home school hours, the gymnastics, swim team, voice lessons, etc. etc etc. Only I will remember the chaos – my kids will hopefully just remember me being there with them every step of the way.

  27. 32

    What a beautiful memory of your mom and I love how you are continuing to dance with your children :)

  28. 33

    Loved this topic…loved the story you shared….it was very similar to mine. When I was growing up I could not believe that people did not have music in their lives like my family did. The first time I went with a friend to a reunion I was stunned when no one pulled out guitars, sang, and danced. Who knew????

  29. 34

    Very lovely thoughts and memories; I loved it. My Dad used to grab my mother and I for a dance. He loved to sing and dance. These are sweet memories for me. When my Dad was in a care center due to dementia. My mother visited him everyday. I came down to see them for a week. Up until the end of his life he knew my name and my mothers; but not much else. One day were in a recreation room and they were playing dancing music. He grabbed my mom and they danced away. Then he came over and danced with me also. It is now one of my favorite memories.
    Blessings for this one and the memories it stirred up.

  30. 35

    That was really inspiring! I’ve added mine, even if it is a few days late :)

  31. 36

    Lisa Jo, you’re a gem in the crown of Christ. Such an important member of our community. HUGS and love to you, friend.


  32. 37

    This was a hard one for me. I didn’t think I could write it, and that hurt. It was disappointing to think I wouldn’t accept the Friday challenge, but this week’s challenge highlighted other hurt I didn’t want to examine. My husband even got in on it, encouraging me to keep thinking & not give up on the topic. I thank him and you for the nudge to work on this topic.

  33. 38


  1. […] Lisa Jo and other writers who like to write for the joy of it. Instead of a word, today we are sharing […]

  2. […] Friends! Welcome back for another Friday spent withLisa-Jo and the Five-minute crowd. Today, we’re taking five minutes to write on the prompt What Mama […]

  3. five minute friday: what mama did…

    Linking up again for Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker. She writes this: What did your mama do that makes her your mama? Let’s unpack those memories today. Let’s trace our fingers along the lines of the unexpected. The ordinary beauty in a day of m…

  4. […] has had guests at her place this week, writing about their moms. Click here to read them […]

  5. […] Five Minute Friday […]

  6. […]  You can join in the fun.  All you have to do is write for 5 minutes on a certain subject found here. Then post it and add it to the blog roll there.  It’s so much fun.  If you want all the […]

  7. […] up for me, a story about why I love gifts so much, inspired by Lisa Jo’s Five Minute Friday Prompt and my very own […]

  8. […] linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday today. Assigment: what mom […]

  9. […] to the 5 minute Friday page on Lisa Jo Baker’s […]

  10. […] I’m linking with Lisa-Joy for Five Minute Friday Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like […]

  11. […] every week a fabulous community of bloggers link up to the Gypsy Mama with their best 5 minutes. join in here! […]

  12. […] link up party. There are some really amazing writers there. I’m just happy I can join. Click here to join the […]

  13. […] up with a community of writers at Lisa-Jo’s who think it’s fun to try to write for 5 minutes without editing or overthinking. It’s […]

  14. […] today’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “What Mama Did.” My first thought was “well I wrote that already, can’t I just re-post it?” But […]

  15. […] week’s Five-Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s explored the question: “What did your mama do that makes her your mama?” I took a bit more than five minutes to share my memory because I was being a mama in […]

  16. What mom did says:

    […] linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday today. Assigment: what mom […]

  17. […] post is linked up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. To be fair, I have been carrying this around in my thoughts for about a month now and […]

  18. […] It’s Five Minute Friday again! And today’s topic is a bit off the beaten trail. Today’s challenge is What mama did.  […]

Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me