Pike County Times
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Southern Mamas
By Guest Columnist Toby Nix

My son is at the age where he likes to hang with his buddies. If he is like me, he will never outgrow that stage.

Most weekends there are at least three 18-year-old guys at our house. They all arrive sometime Friday after school then leave sometime of either Saturday or Sunday.

They are good kids. I’m relieved to know he keeps good company.

I’m also relieved they all enjoy hanging at the house, because I would much prefer them to be at our house than my son at their house. I like a noisy house. I can’t imagine many good memories were made in an empty house.

I am reminded to my childhood home always being full of people when I was growing up. Of course, thinking back to how small that house was, it wouldn’t have taken many people not named Nix to fill it up.

Nonetheless, my brothers and I kept it filled up buddies almost daily. We were very lucky to have parents very welcoming to our friends.

To this day, I will get random messages asking if I remember something my father either said or did back then. If you’ve ever met him, you would understand why I usually do remember whatever is being asked.

My mother was a mom to many more kids than just me and my brothers. If she had a nickel for every time one of our buddies called her “Mama Nix,” she could afford a new house on the beach.

Of course, she would take all the nickel money, skip the beach and just give it all to her kids and grandkids. I should point out, in recent years, she has been called “Nanny Nix” as many times as she was ever called “Mama Nix.”

I have watched my brother and sister-in-law do the same thing with my nephew’s friends. I’m pretty sure I’ve even heard a few of them call my sister-in-law “Mama Nix” as well.

My nephew’s buddies come to family vacations, birthdays and holidays just like they are part of the family. Because they are.

If you’re a Southern woman and the only kids who ever called you “Mama” are the kids you birthed, then something is wrong.

There is no better woman on earth than a Southern woman. Who else could put up with a Southern man? My wife might not be “Southern-born,” unless she was born in south Cambodia, but she was raised in the South.

I’ve never heard her say “bless your heart” but I’ll put her cornbread up against anyone but my mom and my aunt.

I’ll know she’s really made it in life when I hear one of the kid’s friends call her “Mama Nix.”

I may be biased, but I think the world would be a much better place if everyone had a “Mama Nix” in their life at some point.

On second thought, there is no bias. It’s a fact. Here’s to all the Mama Nixes, and all the other Southern women who are mom to whoever their kids bring home.

Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and investigator for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. He is the author of two books, “Columns I Wrote” and the newly released “A Book I Wrote.” He can be reached at tobynix@yahoo.com.

Submitted 7.11.19