Saturday 27 September 2008

Message from your Mother

Note to new readers: Message from your Mother is a series of letters written by Lilly to her daughter which are based sometimes 'too closely' on their most recent phone calls. The letters are often written in the kind of irrational way that seems to come naturally to most mothers when it comes to the lives of their children.


I couldn't sleep last night after your phone call yesterday.

I kept thinking and thinking...of you with purple hair. In all shades and styles.

Then when I went to sleep, I had nightmares about you getting chased in your car by a truck on a lonely stretch of road. And, to top it off, you were dressed as a teen queen with a crown and sash.....and purple locks. It wasn't pleasant. I think I have some unresolved issues from some of the things you told me.

And why? Well here are some snippets of our phone conversation.

You: Next year I want to go on a road trip to the US and drive from LA to New York.
Me: That's a great idea. What inspired you to do that?
You: Oh, I'm reading this book about these two girls who go travelling in the States, have a great adventure and end up being murdered. Doesn't it sound exciting?
Me: Oh...

Me: How's your health kick going?
You: Really good. Apart from all the binge eating with chocolate, I am sticking to the principles.

Me: Oh....

You: I feel time is going too quickly. I just realised the other day that I am now too old to achieve some of my dreams.
Me: But you aren't that long out of your teens. What dreams are you talking about?
You: Well, let's see....ok, well it's too late to be a teen model.
Me: But you never would have ever wanted to be a teen model.
You: Well its too late now even if I had wanted to be one. See what I mean?
Me: Oh ...

You: I think I am going bald.
Me: What do you mean?
You: My hair is thinning. It may have something to do with that purple dye that's in my hair.
Me: Your hair is purple? Last time I saw you it was black. How purple is purple?
You: Bright purple, there is no missing me from blocks away.
Me: Oh......

Me: So how is the Hot Yoga going? I still don't understand what it is exactly.
You: I love it, just love it. We do yoga in a heated room. It helps to iron out my wrinkles and stretch my creaky bones.
Me: Old bones? Wrinkles?
You: Yes
Me: Oh....

You: I'm going to the gym twice a day and walking for an hour a day. I get up at 5am, walk to the gym, walk to work, work till 6pm, walk to the gym, walk home and cook dinner. I feel good but I don't know why I feel so tired. I don't understand.
Me: Oh.....

Do you see why I worry?

I don't feel so bad though because I read a great post called Insomnia on Barbara Blundell's blog and she talked about how she lay awake at night wondering about her son and what he was doing. I think you never stop worrying no matter how old your children get. So, we may just have to accept it's always going to be this way. However, if you don't want me to worry then you may want to rethink what you tell me or at least, please explain.

There is one more thing, Barbara's son leaves comments on her blog. Just thought you should know that some children do that for their mothers. Of course it's totally up to you if you want to do that too, of course.....

Your Mother xx

PS. Can you send me a picture of you and your purple hair? I would just like to know what you look like with the new colour change so I know who to pick up at the airport next time you visit. I will be the one in the dark, dark shades.

PPS. Having thought about it all some more, just remember that growing older is compulsory but growing up is optional.

Image: by Lilly using her daughter's picture and the virtual makeover tools at - for all you boys and girls who used to love playing with paper dolls and perhaps still would if it wasn't so embarrassing at your age, have a go - it's way too much fun!


  1. Lilly - I think your opinion on your daughter's choice of hair color is reflected in your "Quote of the Day". Surely that's not a coincidence, right? LOL

    Also, if she decides to take that trip to the States to drive cross-country I hope the economy stabilizes a little more than it is now. That could ruin an otherwise fabulous and fun trip with gas prices and inflated expenses. It's a shame how few tourists are coming here, compared with years past, to explore the incredible and diverse beauty of America.

  2. Hmm, purple, eh? One of my cousins dyed her hair blue. Baby blue. It was.. hmm.. interesting. Well, your daughter sounds like a colorful character, sorry, I couldn't resist!

    That's a lot of exercising that she's doing. I hope that she has a day of rest in that work and walking schedule.

    I like how you do the "message from your mother." But, I don't think I'll tell my Mom.... She might try to do the same thing. Lol

  3. My favorite cell phone discussions with my son include his saying, "Hey, um, Mom? How much cash do you keep at home? I'm gonna need bail."

    Love how your end of the conversations end with "Oh..."


    Glad to hear your daughter is treating her wrinkles and old bones to Hot Yoga. :-) Hope she finds relief to the aging process!


  4. @ Matt - no my quotes are never coincidence (I try and find ones that fit in with my post) but how hilarious that I actually found a quote talking about violet and brunette? She hasn't seen these photos yet and will kill me I dare say. But that is the colour I keep imagining it is. I would love her to do a road trip there, my sister and her husband did it when they were in their 20s and had a great time but as you say the eonomy is not so good. Fingers crossed things improve and stabilise again!

    @ Aleta - you nailed it - she does have an absolutely colourful life and gives me lots of smiles. I just sit on the sidelines and watch beause I am not really the adventurous type. She is willing to try most things and packs lots into her life. Except, there is usually more disasters as well as a by product. Yes, she is doing way too much exercising but from someone who does none then even 30 mins sounds like a lot. She really loves it though. I guess she will get all tired out one day.

    @ Pearl - now I thought I had stuff to worrry about - purple hair is nothing compared to your story about the bail request. How funny are they? The joys of being a parent but it gives us something to talk and moan about. I wouldn't have it any other way and I am sure you wouldn't either.

  5. I loved the great paragraphs all ending with you saying "Oh"

    Being chased in your car by a truck does seem to be a rip-off of a film I saw Dennis Weaver in a few years back. (He wasn't wearing a crown and sash though)

    Your second from end paragraph

    "There is one more thing, Barbara's son leaves comments on her blog. Just thought you should know that some children do that for their mothers. Of course it's totally up to you if you want to do that too, of course....."

    ...seems very close to life

    Just Spiflicating

    ps: Reading a weeks worth of posts at once (apart from the Kylie search) has been rather like watching an omnibus edition of Desparate Housewives, or eating a whole packet of chocolate digestives in one go. Or best of all, both together.

    Do you have omnibus editions of soaps over there?


  6. Re: the purple hair...

    The night before I took Alessandro on our Italy trip this time last year, he came home with zebra stripes (he called them streaks) in his newly oddly spiked haircut.

    Damn that Narrabundah hair dresser!

  7. @ soulmerlin - Henry, no we don't have omnibus editions of soaps (I dont think but I dont watch Aussie soaps either) but I was addicted to UK soaps when I lived there and we don't get any here anymore - Coronation St, Eastenders you know the ones I mean. I have never watched Desperate Housewives ever before - not sure why. Henry I feel sorry for you having to read all my posts in one sitting - you need to do it with an alcoholic beverage in one hand - or just read one a week better still.

    @ Lesley - thanks goodness I am not alone - zebra hair - oh.....we have to laugh but only when it involves other children not our own. Funny how that is!

  8. I love it Lilly. I have had a number of interesting, and much too informative conversations with my daughter. Lets just say she is not shy, and I now know things I wish I did not. Worry is a constant state for a parent, thank god we find ways to deal with it.

  9. Eric - yes, I agree, kids tell you everything now which is great on the one hand but terrifying on the other. I do not tell my mother stuff even now!

  10. Lilly,
    First, have to say it's my turn to tell you how amazing the photo of the gum tree on Silent Sundays is!!
    Talk about award-winning!
    And loved this real-to-life phone recap between daughter and you.
    You are so funny and it makes me happy to read you...and realize there are other moms and daughters out there having such fun conversations.
    Hooray for that!
    Perhaps I should share a piece of my chats with Becca. Although some would probably not be printable, if you know what I mean.
    Thanks, Lilly, for being my Number Uno supporter and visiting my blog almost, if not, every day.
    Just to save you a click (ha!) I am leaving up the Hatred in Small-Town America for a few days because it is getting quite a few direct hits to it and I think it has an important message.
    Since your visit, I changed the Mo. Teresa poem to a more unique prayer/song.
    I think it gives the piece more punch and says more clearly where I'm coming from.
    Well, didn't mean to ramble on and on and you have my full permission to edit this comment if you want.
    Love you,

  11. PS: Just had an amazing idea! When said daughter comes to States, she has a free invite to stay at the Dragonfly House and hang out with the other 20 and 30 somethings who live here and one hip 63-yr-old!
    And I could show her around Oregon.
    We have an available guest room at all times and we LOVE company!
    Just an idea...

  12. Lilly ~ I love reading an omnibus of your week's posts...It's like reading a book, rather than just a chapter.


  13. Hi Lilly Talking about heads. Mine had more or less normal hair but he did have a cake tin stuck on his head one time.

  14. Just when I thought I might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and that someday I might not worry so much. My hopes are SMASHED!!!

    Well, look on the bright side, purple is a gorgeous color :)

    I know it's Silent Sunday, but I'm a rule breaker, so I don't care. I love the tree. Yep, you guessed it...I'm a tree hugger!

  15. @ Jlo - thanks for your comment and yes your post is a powerful one which needs to remain for a while to give people more of a chance to see it up there Thanks for your offer - I shall pass it on and wouldnt that be great? I love reading your posts because there are always different messages there and you are a source of inspiration to me. Thanks for your offer - wow - I will pass that one. J is a very funny, sweet and happy person (purple hair aside). In fact much the same as you I bet Judi. Thank you again.

    @ Soulmerlin - and I love you dropping by my blog because I can always count on smiling after you leave a comment. I do know how busy you are though and you need to relax too.

    @ Barbara - you are so witty - hilarious. I wouldlove to sit and have a cup of tea or coffee with you one day (with a few pikelets as well). A tin on his head? OK you make me feel better. There could be worse things, he he.

    @ Troublex2 - yes you have a LONG way to go, he he. Being a parent is hilarious at times but then I guess our own parents sit back and think, well they have it coming to them given what they put us through. I know you are a tree hugger and that's why I love your blog (apart from your wicked sense of humor) but because you are out there on the land doing what I would like to do one day (but doubt will ever be the case but I can live that dream vicariously through you). Hug a few more trees for me - and hope those teenagers recover well.

  16. Oh, I know EXACTLY where you're coming from. However, I think (well, I keep on telling myself at least) I've solved the problem - I repeat daily (sometimes hourly) that no news is good news. I think maybe you just confirmed that for me. From the pictures, she certainly is her mother's daughter - gorgeous - is that too presumptuous? Oh, well what the hell. And, yes, the tree is stunning.

  17. Love that hair color and I so need to start treating my wrinkles too.

    Your daughter seems to be very adventurous, I am too but not in practice(it's all in my dreams).

  18. By the way (off topic),HOw long can you store those icing flowers you make?

    I just started a new hobby, cupcake making;)

  19. I really enjoy your blog. In fact, I have nominated you for an award, but because I am ambivalent about them, I will understand absolutely if you don't want to follow through. I have given notice that this is the last time I will take part myself, as they take up so much time.
    I have also linked to your site. Love the daughter letters .. and the song John Williamson sings. I think - I may be wrong - that it was written by a group called the Bullamakankas who were performing on the Northern Rivers of NSW years ago. (I live there.)

  20. Thank you for following my blog Lilly - did you have a peek at Journeys in Creative writing - short stories? Cheers June - another Aussie.

  21. Lilly,
    So funny you have this conversation with your daughter about her hair. My daughter has this infatuation with dying her hair blue also eversince junior high. She says that one of these days now that she can dye her hair without my permission, she'll dye her hair blue. Of all colors, it has to be blue. I said to her, "Now, who would want to hire ah Engineer with a blue hair?"

    "Well," she said, "by the time I color my hair blue, I will have an impressive resume under my belt that my prospective employer will overlook the color of my hair. Better yet, if I'm my own boss, then it won't matter at all."

    About your daughter driving solo from coast to coast. I'd be so worried myself. I even worry about my daughter driving back and forth to the University, which is only a forty-five minute drive. I could not allow my own daughter make that long trek without at least three other people with her. There are so many sick people out there who truly pray on lone travellers. I'm sorry to scare you, but she should not travel alone. Have at least other people travel with her if she must. And she and her company(ies) are welcome to stay at our modest home if she decides to make the trip. So long as she's not too picky with the kind of accomodations availed to her.

    Yes, I do so love your tree photo.

    Have a great week.

  22. Lilly,
    Sorry, I meant to write "prey on lone travellers" not pray. Hehe.

  23. I had to write again. I just saw the "quote of the day"

    "Violet will be a good color for hair at just about the same time that brunette becomes a good color for flowers. Fran Lebowitz"

    Hilarious! Though, to be honest, I was shocked to see a lot of brides using the colors chocolate and pink. It seems to be "the thing" these days and brides are on the hunt for brown roses!

    And I loved the picture of the tree ~ it looks like it could speak volumes and reminded me of the trees I saw at the Grand Canyon. They looked like ancient people.

  24. Okay, Ms. Lilly. I put a post up just for you about the animals. It was on Thursday and it's called Tia's Critters. Maybe you'll get a kick out of some of it.

    I still love the color purple by the way. I wonder how my hair would look in a vibrant amethyst shade???

  25. You live through my country bumpkin tree-hugging ways?? Oh lordie!

    Have I told you sometimes I really want to run as fast as I can back to the city? I have this neighbor ....
    oh well, that's a story for another time :)

  26. Dear Lily,

    here's a secret: me and my best friend (who lives in Canada now) has long wanted to go cross-country on a car by ourselves to enjoy the winds and the endless road and sing aloud with the music.

    My friend has also tried the Hot Yoga(which i have no idea about) and she talked about when we chat the last time. She said it made her dizzy and dehydrated to the point that she almost passed out.

    I'm amazed at how open and candid your conversations are with your daughter. I wish me and my mother had these conversations. I would have told her a LOT of things (but then again, maybe NOT) =)

  27. @ CJW666 - yes, she is a lovely girl inside and out but now just comes with purple hair. I will adjust as we always do...he he.

    @ Jade - you are beautiful - dont worry about wrinkles just enjoy your life as I know you do in lovely Singapore. You have so much to look forward to havent you? I answered your question re the flowers on your blog!

    @ Tasha - great to see you back posting again and I so enjoyed your last post about your trip. What a sweet offer and one thing about Aussies is we are down to earth and no airs and graces. I don't think she would go on her own but will take a friend or two with her. Who knows if she will end up doing it but she has travelled a lot so more than likely will as she keeps talking about it to everyone. Thanks again.

    @ Aleta - yes I found that quote - what a classic and how well it fit the post - he he. Brides with chocolate and pink - mmm - have to see it first but cannot imagine that. You must be counting down the days now..

    @ Trouble x 2 - yes, post about your neighbour any time - as long as they do not read your blog you may be safe...we all have them - maybe we could have a contest as to who has got the strangest neighbours.

    @ Rachel - well I truly hope that one day you get to do that travelling. It's nice when dreams can come true. Thanks for your comment.

  28. i dont think this is coincidence.

  29. I love this post. Wrinkles and old bones. :) I really love the fact your daughter tells you everything. Like you, I still keep things from my mother.

    My boys are still small, but it's good to know what my future possibly holds.

  30. Strewth, I thought that was YOU in the purple wig. She looks EXACTLY like you. You guys could pass for twins. That blew me away.

    I loved all of your in depth replies. "Oh..." LOL

    Boy, being a parent never really stops does it?!! I think it's like that for all parents on some level.

    I can see it now. You're 85 and she's 60 - 65 (can't remember how old she is now)....anyway she calls you up while you’re sitting in your rocker crocheting baby booties for your great grandchildren….the phone rings.

    DAUGHTER: "I'm thinking of letting my gray hair grow out? What do you think? But then if I decide to leave Fred I better keep dying it because I won't find a man if my hair is all gray. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was thinking of leaving Fred.

    LILLY: "Oh..."

    DAUGHTER: I'm not sure yet if I'll try and find another man or just join a Tibetan monastery. If I join a monastery I'd have to shave my head so dying it or not wouldn't matter"

    LILLY: "Oh..."

    DAUGHTER: "When you were 60 - 65 did men notice you? I suppose really old men might notice know men that are your age 85 or older. To them I'd be really young. I'd be a hot chick."

    Lilly: "Oh..."

    Daughter: I'm also through being a mother. My kids are old enough to deal with life on their own now. So I'll have more free time. How 'bout I come on over this weekend and stay at your place, maybe even for a month or two. I need a good shoulder to cry on." LOL

    LILLY: "Oh..."

    Daughter: "Did I tell you that the reason I'm leaving Fred is because he's starting to look at younger women, like they're really hot chicks."

    Lilly: "Oh..."

    PS. Can you send me a picture of you and your gray hair or bald head, whichever the case may be? I would just like to know what you look like so I know who to pick up at the airport next time you "visit". Yes, I'm still driving at 85. I will be the little old lady with the blue hair, cane, orthopedic shoes, Depend's diaper and hearing aid.

    PPS. Having thought about our conversation some more....RE FRED: just remember what I told you forty something years ago: "Growing older is compulsory but growing up is optional.

    PPPS. And no you can't move back in with me. I'm through being a mother. My kids are old enough to deal with life on their own now. I'm headed to Tibet, Depends and all!!!

    LOL LOL :) :)

    Lilly girl, I think you are just the bees knees!!! You are my hero!

  31. Oh Robin, you should be doing humor posts on your blog as well as everything else you do - you are hysterical. You know the conversation will continue as is although it might just turn the other way and I will be living the adventurous life instead. She is way more advernturous than me. Way more! Much like yourself in many ways I would think and she is a very happy person. You got to love happy people. Your comment is so good I think I need to post this if ok with you as an added part to mine. What fun you are!!! And yes we are alike except I am 5ft 9 and she is 5ft 5. And I am fair and she is vey dark but we ahve the same green eyes and there is no mistaking us for twins (well a little older version of course for one of us...he he).

  32. You are SUCH a joy. I would be honored to have you use my comment. WOW!!! That's waaaay cool!

    I actually wrote it the day you put that post up but I wasn't sure if it made sense so I didn't post it until yesterday. LOL LOL

    So the fact that you "got it" and laughed....tickled me PINK!!! I laughed over that it made me so happy. I just think the world of you!!!

    God for it...Let me know when you post it (if you have time). Hugs my dear Aussie friend!. You are THE BEST!! Rob

  33. wow...
    the resemblance is uncanny !!!
    I thought it was you too..
    great great post - a real gem :)
    ..and reminds me of conversations that I have with my Mum and my Daughter (who is 17)

  34. Hi Kim - yes we are very alike EXCEPT she is dark (well normally) and I am fair (and going greyer by the minute). She is small and I am tall. There is a picture of us together in a post she did for me called Message from your daughter -its in the Message from your Mother category. She is lovely but then I am biased - all daughters (and sons) are lovely, absolutely.


Thanks for your comments.