Conversations With My Lakota Mom: Happy Mother’s Day

In celebration of Mother’s Day,the author shares conversations with her Lakota mom that are classic Native mom chats.
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In observance of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a personal anecdote about my mom.

Spring had arrived, the sun was heating things up, and it was time to plant the garden. My mother wanted to put in yellow beans, a type of bean she’d never gardened before. She carefully read the planting instructions, her eyeglasses balanced at the end of her nose. "Only plant in full, direct sunlight." She looked up from the seed packet, surveyed the sky, the incoming clouds, it was nearing sunset and soon it would be dusk; so my mother put away the packet of seeds to plant for the next day.

That story illustrates my mother’s – shall we say, decidedly unique personality – in a way that no other story can quite compare. But I’ll try to top it with the following collection of humorous interactions between a 40-something daughter, and her 70ish Lakota mom titled “Conversations with My Lakota Mom,” which represents a kind of amalgamation of some Native moms I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life.

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Conversations with My Lakota Mom, No. 1

—For my 70th birthday I want to hire them sexy Chippewa dancers to come entertain at my party.

—Don’t you mean the Chippendale Dancers?

—No, not the chipmunks!

Conversations with My Lakota Mom, No. 2

—Where’re we going?

—I’m taking you to lunch, buckle your seat belt.

—Where?

—Old Country Buffet.

—Hrumph

—What’s wrong?

—You’re taking me to Costco’s for the free samples, again.

—No. I’m not!

—Yes, you are, that’s where you took me last time. And then you tried to tell me the hotdog condiments was a salad bar.

—Fine. You're on to me. But you like the samples. They have crescent rolls! It’s cheap and I’m in a hurry.

—You should buy toilet paper while we’re there.

—Okay.

—And pretzels.

—Really?

—And a honey baked ham.

—Um.

—See? Taking me to Old Country Buffet would be cheaper.

Conversations with My Lakota Mom, No. 3

—Can you drive me to the tribal clinic next week? I have a woman appointment.

—Yeah. I can.

—I have a lady time appointment.

—Yeah, okay…

—That’s my vagina doctor…

—Right, got that.

—I have to show that doctor my business down there…

—Um, TMI, mom!

—Sigh.

—What?

—Sigh.

—Okay, what?

—They stopped asking me certain questions.

—Like what?

—Like when was the last time Scarlett came home to Tara.

—Mom!

— (Giggles) And they always ask me if I feel safe at home.

—Oh?

—Yes, they want to know if you’re beating me. They say, Lorraine, is your daughter beating you?

—Tell them I’m thinking about it.

—Elder abuse!

Conversations with My Lakota Mom, No. 4

— (Getting ready for a memorial service) When I make the journey I want my remains spread at Disneyland. But not my ashes or anything, just leave my parts.

—Um. Okay, Mom.

—It’s a good day to shop at Sear’s end of the year clearance sale when socks are 75 percent off.

—OK, you got it.

—I will fight no more about putting the toothpaste cap back on the tube forever!

—Right.

—Hoka hey! Bury my heart at Panda Express!

—Uh…

—As a Native American I eat EVERY part of Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken entree.

—I know you do, Mom.

—I eat EVERY part of the sacred Dairy Queen Double Chocolate Dipped Banana Split. Aho!

—Right. Someone around here is definitely bananas.

— (Giggles.)

Tiffany Midge is a poetry editor for The Rumpus, and an award-winning author of The Woman Who Married a Bear. Her work is featured in McSweeney's, Okey-Pankey, The Butter, Waxwing, and Moss. She is Hunkpapa Lakota. Follow her on Twitter @TiffanyMidge.