You know, I have known a lot of people in my forty six years..and I've been called many things-most of them good. Until my early twenties, I was called "Kathy"..which I hate..always have. I am so not a" Kathy". If anyone reading this happens to be one-I mean no disrespect. It is just that "Kathy" brings up images of perky, sweet, fun loving "gals" of which I am not. No! I am hyperactive and sarcastic..pithy and ..well..cool. Just so you know, Kathleen wouldn't' have been my first choice of names either-it was the only acceptable alternative that I could think of. I mean really, I couldn't imagine getting anyone to call me "Queen Cool" or "Wonder chick" (not that I haven't tried)..so Kathleen it is.
There are only four people in the world who call me "Mama"..and yet, if there were a count to be taken..it is the one thing I have been called more than anything else. Just this morning the word "Mama" has been used in forty zillion different ways.."Mama I'm hungry" "Mama can I have a turn on the computer" "Mama can I have a snack?" "Mama The dogs are doing that weird thing to each other again" "Mama can you get me this?" "Mama can you get me that?" "Mama? Mama??? MAMA!!!!!" sigh..."Mama why are you sitting in the empty bathtub with clothes on?" "Oh I like the feel of the cold tiles against my face when my head hurts.." "Does your head hurt Mama?" "No..I'm o.k." "Then why are you sitting there" "I don't know" "Oh...Mama? can we have lunch?'
I am really not complaining. I can't. There was a time not to long ago, when I would have given anything to hear my boys say "Mama". Sammy spoke very early, but at around twelve months his language slowly went away..and was gone completely by the time he was eighteen months old. Oscar did not speak until he was four-and even then it was only with very few words . I wasn't sure if either would ever be able to verbalize. I did not know what the future held. Should we teach them sign language, use pecs..perhaps a talking machine? We had accepted the idea that they might remain non verbal. We made plans...we would do whatever we could to help them And yet,.and yet drifting around in the back of my mind was the thought..the WANT.. to hear them just once say "Mama" .So simple..and so complicated. I was ashamed for feeling that way. Acceptance means acceptance..right? sigh...I have learned since to cut myself some slack. That motherhood isn't the equivalent of stoicism(at least most of the time). I am allowed to want..to feel..to mourn for things that might never happen. It is what one does with those feelings that matters.
The other night Sammy made a decision..he told us "I'm almost a young man..I'm going to start calling you "Mom" and "Dad" now...o.k.?" I had noticed that he had already started doing this at school..calling me "Mom" in front of his friends..I could accept that...but this? No! "Sammy..I am so not a "Mom"..if you want to use that at school is one thing...but at home???? Ick.." Omar wasn't thrilled either.."Sammy, I still call MY father "Papa" it is the way we say "dad" in French" ..."But I'm almost a young man..and this is what I want to call you." sigh.."Sammy, can't you think of something else to call us.."Mom" just doesn't suit me...heehee..you could call us "Mother and Father" " "No, I like "Mom and Dad"" ..."How about "Queen cool" ?" "What??" "Or "Princess wonderful" " .."Mama! I'm being serious!" "Fine bud..if that's what you want to call us-go ahead...but then I'm going to have to call you "Son"." "O.K....goodnight Mom...goodnight Dad" "Goodnight Son....of princess wonderful! hahahahaha" "Mama!!!" "That's my name.."
Note: This post was inspired (as most of my posts are) by my kids. This week, some of what I discussed was inspired by this wonderful post by Kim. I think it would be well worth your while to go read it. Thanks Kim. :)