Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mom

Henry has taken lately to calling me "my mom."

"Come and play, my mom!"

"Can I have a jelly bean, my mom?"

"I'll be Yoda, and you be Obi-Wan Kenobi, my mom." (We've also been very into Star Wars lately.)

At first I thought the new moniker was a sign of possession -- this is my mom. But it's not how he says it. He says it the same way an adult would when talking about his or her mother: "Oh, my mom is coming for the weekend."

I think, maybe, being "my mom" is a result of Henry starting to have a life separate enough from me that he talks about me to other people -- to his preschool classmates, to his grandparents, to his little buddies. He refers to me when I'm not around.

I've decided I like being "my mom" as opposed to "my mom." I like that I am "my mom" casually and warmly and naturally, because I really hope that's how he talks about me when he grows up, too. I want teenager Henry to smile when he talks about hanging out with "my mom," and 20-something Henry to tell his roommates and girlfriends how awesome "my mom" is. And dangit, when that kid has kids, I'd better hear the sentence "My mom will come and help out for a couple weeks." (Or a couple months. Not to be pushy, distant-future in-laws.)
My mom, my brother, Gandalf, and me

I want that kind of relationship for my sake, but I want it for him, too. I get to talk about my mom like that, and I'm glad I do.

My mom is amazing, no questions asked. Oh, I know she wasn't always perfect when I was a kid, but only because she's confessed to such terrible slights as accidentally impaling me with a diaper pin once. If we're going off my memory alone, my mom is strictly awesome.

My mom spent her entire 22nd birthday in labor with me -- though, because I was stubborn from day one, I held out until 2 a.m. the day after, so we don't share a birthday.

My mom started college when my brother and I were toddlers, juggling her class schedule with my dad's so they could be home with us. I remember going to class with her and coloring while she took her tests. She graduated with a perfect 4.0.

My mom chaperoned a field trip to Seattle when I was in seventh grade. We were supposed to go to the art museum one afternoon, and even though my mom loves museums and knew it would be educational for us, she snuck my friends and me away from the pack and took us to Planet Hollywood for strawberry milkshakes, because we were 12 and it's exactly what we wanted.

My mom going fishing at Big Creek
My mom has been a teacher for almost 20 years, and even when she talks about how tiring and frustrating her job can be, she always circles back to how much she loves her kids, and I've never met a kid who didn't love her.

My mom can play "Amazing Grace" on the flute more beautifully than anyone on earth. My mom can spend an entire day fishing from a lawn chair on a dock even if she hardly catches a thing. My mom can recite Emily Dickinson poems.  My mom spent last weekend coaxing 10 baby ducklings from their eggs, checking on them in her classroom every few hours because she couldn't stop thinking about them.

I remember back in our childbirth class when I was pregnant with Henry, we went around and talked about who we wanted in the birthing room with us. I was the only person who said "my mom," and I realized then how blessed I am.

My mom has always trusted me, always supported me, always been willing to give me advice and help, always listened when I told her I wanted to do things on my own. She let me mess up when I needed to, and though we rarely argued she set me straight when I needed to be. (For the record: You were right about all those times you made me dress nicely for an important event, Mom. Sorry about that.)

My mom, aka Gramma, and little Henry
My mom was amazing when I was a kid. But she's amazing now, too. I'm closer with her now than I ever was, and I'm learning more and more all the time that I love her as a mother and just in general, as a person.

Happy Mother's Day, my mom.

(And happy Mother's Day to the rest of you, too. I've got to run -- got a date with a cheeseburger. If you'd like to stick around, you can read the previous post in the Mother's Day series here.)


  1. Love. And I agree, your mom is awesome, and I love that even though I met you in college, I have met your parents (and other family members) and think they are all great. :D

  2. Tara,
    You described your mom perfectly! I love this blog and will be a loyal reader as long as it exists! Hugs and blessings to your family!!

  3. Beautiful blog, Tara! You are indeed a writer. I am going to recommend it to Ann also. Theresa


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