When LP has a rough time going to bed he usually follows this routine from his bedroom upstairs:
“Dada? Dada? Dada?”
“DADA??” (crying now) “DADA??”
(crying, resigned) “DADA, GOOD NIGHT??!!”
I get to hear this in all it’s glory since I’m usually putting IP to bed right next door to LP’s room. As I sit there nursing IP I have plenty of time to contemplate what it means to be a mom. Specifically, what it means to be called “Mom.”
I’ve been called a lot of things (and most of them were nice). I’ve been called “Coach,” “Ms. Levey” and even “Mrs. Pabst” (which is not my last name, but I’ll respond to it out of politeness). These names have marked important points in my life. I still remember the first time a student called me “Ms. Levey” and, in that moment, I felt like I was really a teacher for the first time. When I moved out east I started really using my new, hyphenated name, and that became part of both my teaching persona and my east coast persona. These names were part of my professional ideintiy, which is a huge part of who I am. Yet these names are not permanent. Sure, I can continue to teach forever . . . or can I change jobs. When I stopped coaching I stopped being “Coach.” I could probably pick it up again if I get a chance to coach more, but for now it’s not part of my life.
But I’m “Mommy” forever.
Well, sort of. At some point I will probably just be “Mom.” Sooner than I would like I expect to be “Mooom” accompanied by an eye-roll and sigh of exasperation (yes, I work with teenagers – I have a sense of what I will be in for in 12 years). Either way, I’m some version of “Mom” forever. One day my kids will figure out my “real” name, but even then that will be an afterthought. As far as they are concerned, I’m “Mom” and I exist only in relation to them.
I’m not sure how I feel about, but it does feel monumental. With both kids labor and delivery felt like a huge deal. Don’t get me wrong – growing a child from scratch is pretty amazing – but it is also easy part in so many ways. Two-and-a-half years later, for LP I’m “Mommy” and if I hear him say my name I whip to attention no matter what else I’m doing. From LP’s perspective it appears that “Mommy” exists to serve his whims (which appear to include giving extra cuddles before bed, ceasing to sing along with the radio and providing him bottomless cups of bubbly water). He has little to no concept of this “Marie” who does things like work, write and think about things that aren’t train and truck related. Someday he will see that person, but at the heart of it I will always be “Mom” (aka “kisser of boo-boos,” “celebrator of pee in the potty,” and “sucker who gives me crackers because she doesn’t know that Daddy said ‘no crackers'”)
Notes from the Year of Family
Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Smoothies for Dad and LP and a quick bowl of cereal for Mom (she slept in snuggled up with IP this morning)
- LP snacked on some free pretzels from the Whole Foods both at a local music and art festival
- Lunch: Hummus with crackers and carrot sticks
- Dinner: Garlic and Greens pasta
- Mom enjoyed some So Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge and brownies at a little ladies night out for her and IP
Today we spent the following:
- $7.00 on a gallon of apple cider from a local farm