Friday, September 27, 2013

Becoming Mama

Today Big Pants turns the big 8. 

He can hit a baseball
He can ride a bike
He can tie his own shoes
He can ride in a car without a booster seat (although he doesn't want to)
He can pour his own milk 
(OK, this is turning into a list of things he can but doesn't want to do.)

The point is that he is BIG. This morning we snuggled in bed and talked about the day he was born, until his morning breath outweighed his cuddliness and he got kicked out.  It was a tender moment for a few minutes, anyway.

On the ride to school, I reflected out loud that today was the day that I became a Mama, that before today I was a girl, then a woman, but not a Mama. To which Big Pants replied, "Yeah, on this day you became a Mama, but you mean a few years ago, right?"

Wait, what? A few years ago? How about eight years ago?!?! 

To his 8-year old brain,  the idea that I wasn't always a Mama is too much to wrap his brain around. I was born Mama, I grew up Mama, I will always be Mama.  I never was anything but Mama, and maybe, in a way, he was right.  Maybe I was always his Mama, before he was born, just like I was a woman before my body developed.  Maybe the day he was born was just the first time anyone else knew I was Mama.  After all, I didn't radically change overnight.  My parenting theory had been developing since I was a child who said, "When I have kids I will never make them…."

When is a dancer born? The minute they hear music? The minute they first put on shoes? Or does the dance always reside inside their souls, from the minute they open their eyes for the first time?

Before I had children I mothered animals, spouses, and other people's children, but  I would never have called myself a mother. Still, everything that makes me Mama was a part of me then. It only burst into fruition when I had children of my own.

What was the moment when I became a mother? The moment I conceived? The moment I gave birth? Or was it the moment I became competent? The moment I no longer felt like an impostor?  Perhaps Big Pants was right, perhaps it was just a few years ago when I hit my stride.  But perhaps I have always been Mama, waiting to bloom.

© Ziggiau | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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