I am a thirty-something year-old woman and I still call my mother “Mommy.” Once, in front of a co-worker, I greeted her on the phone with, “Hi, Mommy!” I wasn’t embarrassed, but actually proud that I don’t just have a mother; I have a Mommy.
I believe that if you have a Mommy, you feel safe and secure in this crazy world. When I was a child, every night she would sit by my bedside and we’d recap my day. I told her about everything and everyone in my life: from the friends I liked to the boys I hated; from the classes I liked to the teachers I hated; and everything in between. My experiences somehow felt more significant when I shared them with her. When I had nightmares, I would go to my parents’ bedroom and crawl into bed with them. As my mother cuddled me, I slept peacefully and without fear. She was always my greatest supporter and advocate. When a friend turned foe harassed me with crank calls in junior high, not only did she scold the girl but she called the girl’s parents and made the harassment stop.
Now that I am an adult and no longer live my parents, I can’t crawl into bed with her and she can’t come to my defense all the time. But she’s still the first person I call when I’m not feeling well because it comforts me to hear her concerned voice. When she knows I have a busy upcoming week at work, she prepares food, drives 30 miles to my house and puts it in my freezer so I won’t need to resort to fast food. While we don’t talk at bedtime anymore, I still do recap my life experiences with her regularly because my life feels more meaningful when she’s a part of it.
As I grow older and so does my mother, I am terrified of the idea of life without her one day. Will my world still feel safe and secure? I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it right now. What I do know is that I want to become a mother myself one of these days. I hope that I won’t just be a good mother, or even just a good Mom. I hope that I, too, will be a good Mommy.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.