As I was bathing my two-year-old today, we started talking about Ariel and her sisters since they were her bath toys for the afternoon. Then she said, “And I have two sisters. Their names are… and …” Then she said, “And I have one brother. And his name is…” Then she said, “And I have a dad, and his name is Dad!” She looked at me and ended, “And you are my mom. And your name is Mom!”
I didn’t correct my sweetie for a couple of reasons. First, she is extraordinarily stubborn and probably wouldn’t have believed me if I told her my name is actually Andrea, not Mom. She would have argued and yelled until she ended with her favorite catch-phrase of the moment: “You a bad mommy! You not a good mommy!” She comes out with that whenever she doesn’t get her way. (Coincidentally at those moments when I’m being a really good mom and teaching her rules, boundaries and consequences most often.)
But, I also didn’t correct her for another reason. I love being Mom. I love having that most noble of titles. I revel in it, I chose it, and I will wear it as a badge of honor for all my days.
Recently, I was heavily involved in our elementary school’s play. The kids all called me Andrea, and I admit, it was kind of nice to have an identity outside of Mom for a few hours a week. But, at least once a practice, one of them would slip and say, “Mom, uh, I mean Andrea,” and I would smile a small smile, not too big so they wouldn’t think I was making fun. I wasn’t. By calling me “Mom” I knew I was doing what I hoped I would with the play: loving those kids and helping them to see their potential, their strengths and their best qualities. After all, moms everywhere are pretty great at that.