"Just a minute," he said, "It's for my mom, I just need to write her name on it." Then he carefully scrawled, in his best six-year old writing, the letters "M-O-M."
My mind went back to an earlier conversation I had with my own daughter, who is his age. "Look Mama! I made this picture of you. It even has your name on it. See? It says 'Mama!' And I wrote 'I love you' a bunch of times because I love you a LOT!!"
That's when it dawned on me. To her, my name is Mama. The more I thought about it, the deeper I felt this statement. There's no other role I play that changes my entire name. I don't go by wife, or cousin, or teacher, though I am all of those things. I retain my identity, who I've been my whole life. But being a mom is different. It's not just a part of my life - it changes all aspects of it. And it doesn't matter whether you carried your child for 9 months or you brought him home from 6,000 miles away. The moment you hold that child in your arms, a mama is born, and there's no turning back.
Mama cheers on other people's kids in t-ball, and wipes their faces after cotton candy.
A mama's heart rages when she sees any kid being treated unfairly.
Mamas cry at sad movies and movies with happy endings too.
Some of mama's best friends are under 4 feet tall and live in her house.
Being a mama changes who you are, and that's ok. I'm not Liz to my kids. My name is Mama, and I love it. They have no idea that I had imaginary friends to keep me company as a kid, or that I was class president in high school (some turnaround huh?), and they really don't care. I'm Mama, and that's all that matters. I'm the one that gets up with them in the middle of the night, who holds them when they're sick or afraid. When you're a mama, you might not get 8 hours of uninterrupted beauty sleep each night, but you don't mind [too much]. It's all part of being...who you are. Mama.
And while only time will tell, I suppose I'll probably stay a mama forever. If I'm anything like my mom (and I hope I am!) I'll go over to my daughter's house in twenty years or so and I'll instinctively pick up stray toys and help her fold the mound of laundry by the couch. Then I'll ask her how her day was and if she needs anything. Not because I have to, but because I'm her mama, and that's just what mamas do.
Question: How has being a mom changed you?