This one’s for my mom

Kathleen Rose Basden, K-Bae, Mom,

I don’t know where to start with you. I’ve called you a tiny ball of crazy more than once in my lifetime, so we can only go up from there, right?

I’ve spent the last week watching you teach your kindergarten students. I think most of what they’ll use in life will have a foundation in your class. Yes, you teach them how to use a ruler properly, but in unseen ways you teach them (and me) to measure success in kindness and love and virtue rather than material things. (I’m including myself because it should be known that I was your first kindergarten student. I still don’t like phonics, either.)  You teach us how to add numbers, but you also teach us how to add to each other’s lives through your constant encouragement. You teach wherever you go. It is in your blood.


This year we’ve done a lot together (the last 21 years have kind of been like that, huh?). I’m picking up on stuff, still. I bet you don’t think I remember the way when I was little, you would get a call on the prayer chain and spend the moments in between your daily tasks whispering prayers and interceding for whatever had come up that day. I know you know I picked up a bit on your Dolly Parton love. This year I’ve picked up on some more stuff.

Before I get into the mushy stuff, I have some honorable mentions:

  1. Take out the trash before you leave for vacation to prevent the house from being stinky-bohinky upon your return. 2. Attention to detail. 3. “Shots shots shots shots shots” 4. The value of crushed ice over cubed. 5. Fully embrace $1 drinks at Kum-and-Go during the summer. 6. How to make a meringue. 7. The art of snake killing (this one I learned sort of on my own but with a bit of encouragement from your secure spot on the porch yelling “ah! Kill it! Kill it!” 8. Don’t buy the largest container of Nutella. Your spoon won’t reach the bottom.. 9. Carousel cakes are probably exclusively for baby showers. 10. Glazing a ham. 11. Salt your watermelon. 12. Oye, Zumba. 13. Amateur plumbing (liquid lightning?) 14. It’s okay to admit not liking things (Oakley-sometimes). 15. Don’t say anything if you don’t want to be called on it. 16. Never ever ever get on K-Bae’s bad side. 17. How to fake your way through a cheese taste-testing when you’ve already tasted it. 18. Many proper critiques of dress, social media posting, and other every day mistakes people make. 19. Acceptance of the fact that my mom is social media famous. 20. Various combinations of nutella, peanut butter, and whatever sweets we have in the house.

Trust: This year you put a good deal of trust in me. I don’t think you know how wonderful that made me feel. It probably wasn’t easy. You trusted me to drive to Orlando with a group of my friends. You trusted me to drive us to Galveston and back. You’ve trusted me with several small projects and large ones. That’s just small stuff I’ve felt trusted in and empowered by. Even in everyday stuff, I have felt so empowered by you in the past year. I’ve felt like you’ve found me capable of so much more than I ever thought. Thank you for believing in me. Women who are strong and dangerous to satan’s plans of destruction change the world by believing in and empowering one another. 11081076_10206526053693960_5752509355048949417_n

Grace: You handle all situations with this grace that I can’t even wrap my head around. I don’t know how you do it. I see you face opposition or controversy with integrity. You’ve warmly accepted my friends as children of your own. I love knowing that you not only pray for me but also my friends. I love that the guest room in your house is slowly becoming known as Amanda and Sara’s room. Your grace is in gentle strength, that is firm but loving. I know you will not waver. Your strength is graceful and delicate rather than a balled-fists strength. It is rare and admirable. (ALSO QUICK NOTE ABOUT YOUR GRACIOUSNESS TO ME WHEN I FAIL. AND I’VE DONE THAT A FEWWWWW TIMES.)


Prayer: Your walk with Christ is near always evident. Even in the small stuff, you’re faithful. Even when you’re in an unimaginable amount of pain following a surgery, delirious from drugs, kind of thinking you might have had a baby but not sure yet, you were still laying in your hospital bed whispering prayers. The funny thing was even in that amount of personal pain, you were still praying for other people more than yourself. Actually, the most prayers went out to Cory. I admire you in this, Mom.


Boldness: I have no clue how man roller coasters I’ve ridden with you in the last year. At least a dozen. You moved me into my dorm room 2 days after being discharged from the hospital. You approach everything with such a boldness, but not a defiant kind of boldness that says “I’m going to do what I want”, but a boldness that says “I’m going to love what I do”. You’ve shaken up quite a few things lately, mom. But in amazing ways. I’ve learned from you this year that it is okay to change things up. Approach it with confidence. Good things will happen. You’ve also called out a lot of things, like with that one time you ended up in the Tulsa World. You call out what isn’t right, and that’s stellar. You’re fearless, mom! I love how you did that. You’re my hero.


Embracing the journey: A lot of people hide their past. From you, I’ve learned that that does no good. You’re one of the few people I know that actively acknowledges their past, looks at where they are and rejoices in the journey to this current destination. You stare roadblocks down and jump over them with a flying leap.


I’ve talked to you before about this idea of eshet chayil, woman of valor. That is you. Carry on warrior, because I’m a warrior following in your footsteps. Your strength, bravery, and valor matter to me. I see it. I love it.


You’re incredible. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve jumped into this feminism thing because I’ve seen a strong woman (you) do such incredible things. You break stereotypes. You’re a sociological, psychological anomaly. I am wildly impressed by all you are and all you do. You’re like my ultimate feminist hero and I don’t even know if you’ve claimed a stance on feminism yet, but dangit right now in my life it is important and you’re so much of the reason why. I believe in other women because you believe in me (and because we are all equal image-bearers of Christ, but we’re talking about you here. It’s not the place).


I will never be able to thank you enough. I don’t even know what any of this will mean to you, but I do know that you and your countless lessons mean the world and then some to me.Words won’t describe all that you are.


Love you.

Happy Mother’s Day

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