Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's my name?

If you are a mom, you have a name. I've always been called Mama by my kids. When they got older, some of them switched to Mom, but once in a while they still call me Mama. Then I got a job and added the name Editor. And of course, I've been Wife for 25 years. So I have a lot of names.

Mostly I can keep them all straight, but sometimes the lines cross and I'm trying to be two names at once.

Deb got married three years ago, but long before that, she called me Mom. "Mama" seemed too childish.

Then last week she had a baby. The hard way. Now I'm back to being Mama, and that involves an entirely different set of skills and thought processes, especially when the child calling you Mama is a mama herself.

Mama requires compassion, empathy, and the ability to be loving but firm. Mom is more firm than compassionate. More businesslike. Mom is stopping at McDonald's in the middle of the afternoon because the sixteen-year-old male is hungry again. Mama is chicken soup and homemade bread when you're sick.

I realized yesterday I was trying to be four things at once, and had to laugh. Mom to a teenage boy, while Mama to a 23-year-old mama, while also being Editor (there are deadlines, you know) and Wife to the man who is on travel and wants all the details about the new grandbaby and the mama. It's quite a juggling act.

But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Be thankful ~


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