“Well bless her heart” is something you do not hear often in the west. When I use to work retail out in San Leandro, California, I would get the sentence “You must be from the south” all the time. I would just smile and say “Yes ‘em.”
Now, being the southern belle that I am, I knew no matter if I had a baby boy or girl, I would raise them up with southernisms, grace, and hospitality. This even being that my husband is in the military and we could be stationed anywhere. And wouldn’t you know, our son is now one years old and we are living in Northern California and will be living here for another year y’all. So, I guess you could say my son is a Cali boy but that’s with the Lord willing! Sure, I reckon’ he will become his own person and so on and so on, but I want him to understand that he is living and growing in a southern household. Us southerners have some sacred customs too and I have planted my roots there and no matter where I am in this world, will never forget.
With him being only one, this makes him getting into the swing of things pretty hard but I know as he gets older, his southern gentleman soul will bloom. Here are some southern things we do in California to keep the south in our mouths and humbleness in our hearts.
First, always start with a gratitude and praise. Teaching our son manners and saying “Please,” “Thank you,” “Yes sir” and “No ma’am” will keep him from thinking his britches are too big.
Next, comes our activities. I could go on and on about all the stories I have growing up in the south and though my boy may not grow up in the south, I still want him to have those same experiences. So we are out in the parks (woods) any chance we get. I will let him dig in the dirt and just be a little boy! When it comes to farms, we are there most weekends, so he can play and learn about the farm animals.
Then, comes friendships. In the south y’all, friends are our family and we keep them tighter than bark on a hickory tree. Luckily, our boy has already caught wind of this and never meets a stranger. He is always greeting everyone we come in contact with, with a big smile and a laugh. Last but not least, comes the food. Us southerners know how to cook up some grub honey and I never knew a day where I wasn’t in the kitchen watching my parents cook. Ever since our son could sit up, I have him in the kitchen with me. Watching me stir the batter for some fresh cornbread or very carefully watching me pull out that delightfully smelling peach cobbler from the oven.
These are the traditions that will last a life time and I hope the legacy will live on with our son.
“Because I SAID So. That’s why.” ~ Quote from southern mamas everywhere