Mom. One little word, three little letters and perhaps one of the most powerful words in the entire world. M – O – M. It is world full of meaning and emotion - hope and fear and somedays it seems like it is being said with all the love a little heart can hold. Of course at times, it can be said as if it should be a four letter word not three.
I have held the prestigious right to be called Mom for over 15 years. When my first son was born I could not wait for him to say momma for the first time. It hurt my heart that his first word was book. Oh, but the joy, the pure unadulterated pleasure I received from rubbing it into my husband’s face when momma was said before daddy. Seven years of love and marriage combined to not only create a little human being but also the ultimate competition for bragging rights – yes, what would our boy child mumble first? I admit that I may have spent all day while Les was at work speaking and signing to our pride and joy. And it is possible that Mom was signed at a ratio of 100 to 1 to dad, but hey I was the one with the broken tail bone from childbirth. I had earned that right. For the first year every little momma filled with me with joy. Our second son arrived 18 months after the first and the competition was back on. Again I won! Yeah team Momma!
And then the terrible two’s hit. Oh sweet momma. All day, every day, every hour of every day. Momma, Momma, Moooooommmmmmma! Like the cries of a pack of hyenas about to tear out the throat of their prey, my sons had managed to turn such a sweet word into a battle cry. A battle cry shouted at a decibel akin to aircraft taking off that, like the plane, continued to rise higher and higher until an ear shattering pitch was reached. One would think that this battle cry would be reserved for the direst of situations. No. My goldfish cracker is facing the wrong. Moooooooommmmmmma. I dropped my stuffy.
Mooooooooooommma. My socks are blue not green. Mooooooooooooommmmma. My brother is breathing! Moooooooooooooooommmma just about lost her mind the first three years.
Moooooommmma became and new word – whymom. Time to have a nap – whymom? Eat your noodles – whymom? Put down the garter snake – whymom? Stop trying to suffocate your brother – whymom? In case you’re wondering what the answer to whymom is, it’s chocolate and wine.
Once the lads began school, the whymom was once again replaced; this time with the word butmom, or on special occasions butmooommma. Son, time to come in – butmom. Boys stop trying to put the cat in pajamas – butmom. Bedtime boys – in stereo – butmommmmma!
Around fourth grade I finally became mom. But now every time the lads said the word it was accompanied by spastic facial expressions and eye roles leading me wonder if they had develop some weird allergy that caused facial tics. Mom (eyes towards heaven) I don’t need a coat, it isn’t that cold out. Mom (accompanied by a look of either constipation or disgust) Ben’s Mom lets him play Grand Theft Auto. (To which Ben’s mom rolled her eyes towards heaven.) Why did you do that to your brother’s room? I don’t know Mom (bonus points eye roll and shoulder shrugs.)
The eye roll mom to was replaced – it was now the “make no eye contact Mom.” I have to admit I may have brought this one on myself. It could have been due to the fact that I discovered the best way to get the boys to behave was threaten them with “the talk”. Guys acting up in the car, mom starts talking about all the place hair is going to sprout soon. Being rude and disrespectful? Hey guys, knock it off or hear your creation story. Yes, Mom for the win!
Now my lads are starting to emerge from the cocoon of puberty and are pretty awesome young men. Both tower over me and my youngest is more likely to call me shrimpy than mom these days, while my oldest speaks in a baritone voice that Johnny Cash would envy. And yet, no matter how the boys say it, Mom is still the best sounding word in the world to me. (Closely followed by chocolate, wine and nap.)
Gaylene Smith: Gaylene is a Strathmore resident that has trouble taking life seriously and can usually be found making inappropriate or sarcastic remarks around town much to the embarrassment of her family and friends. (of which she has both – honest!)