“Maaaammmaaaa!” I hear as I look over at the clock and see 4:45 am staring back at me. Really, son? I thought I taught you to call for daddy before 6 am. “MAMA! He is sitting in my spot!” I hear screamed from the living room as I try to make dinner in the kitchen. “Mom! He broke my wand and it can’t be fixed!” he says through sobs at the exact moment that the people I’ve been on hold with for 30 minutes answer the phone. “I’m thirsty!” “I’m hot!” “He hit me!” “I need a snack!” “He just threw up on his bed!” Mama, mom, mommy, MOM!
I Just Want to Hide
Some days I want to change my name, and I wonder why I even signed up for this gig to begin with. And some days I can laugh at the insane number of times a day my name is called with a need, a cry, a demand, an accusation (but really, why is everything my fault… “MOM! My shoe is untied!” I mean, I didn’t untie your shoe. Simmer down.). But some days, y’all, some days it’s hard to laugh it off, and I just want to hide. The name that I longed to be called can feel like a prison sentence, and I don’t think they properly warn you about the nails on a chalkboard effect that hearing your name whined 265 times in an hour will have on you.
A Look That Says It All
But alas, the other morning at 4:45 am, when I staggered up the stairs and looked over the crib rails, I was the recipient of a look that said, “oh thank goodness, it’s you” and the softest “mama, can you wock me?” It’s a look that is reserved specifically for mamas. The look of total relief and peace and security. The look that says, “as long as you’re here, I’m ok.” As I sat and rocked my sweet baby boy, I took a moment to really soak in that look, that feeling, that moment. The moment when, for now at least, I can make everything right with a hug and lullaby.
A few days later, I got a call from the school that my four-year-old was having another one of his infamous nosebleeds. So, I raced up to the school and, sure enough, there it was again. The look that said, “thank goodness, it’s you,” and I wrapped that big ole boy up and held him tight. His teacher told me he kept saying he really needed his mama.
And then there was the moment recently when my seven-year-old son was asked to read a long and complicated old testament reading at mass, and he was confident but a little nervous. As he approached the microphone, those big brown eyes looked up and met mine, and once again, there was that look. The look that said, “thank goodness you’re here,” and with a wink from his mama, he was off. Mastering that complicated reading like a champ.
To My Kids, There’s Only One Mom
It’s the look that makes the name worth keeping. No one else in all the world has the power to know what each cry means. The power to translate those early toddler babbles into coherent statements. To know exactly what each child prefers to eat and drink and to make all the booboos better. The power to reassure an anxious child with a smile and a wink and to give the best and most healing snuggles to a sick child. To encourage, to discipline, to comfort, and to plan the living daylights out of a weekend.
So, here’s to you, Mom, Mother, Mommy, MMMAAAAMMMMAAAA! Here’s to your ability to be just what your children need. Your super hero mom skills. And your ability to tolerate low level torture tactics and keep it
So, the next time you’re the recipient of that look, remember, no one gets that look but you, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM.