As most days, I left work and went to pick the boys up from their Summer Program. Most rides home from the summer program were similar; we talked about the events/activities for the day, what was for lunch, mini Bruno Mars concerts … and they would fall asleep about 17 minutes into the drive.
However, on this specific day, as we merged into traffic on Hwy 123 entering into Easley; I was asked a question. Amber, can I call you Mom? In the middle of typical conversation, Christian (our 7 year old) just pops the question on me. I look into my rear-view mirror at him and he looks back at me with such innocence. I look over at Ja’Kobe in the passenger seat and he looks at me with such anticipation.
See, the thing is, Jaleesa and I have never had a conversation to force any labels or titles on them. There have been many times when they simply referred to me as “parent, friend, or my mother’s friend”; and all of those acknowledgements are perfectly fine with me…with us. In my mind, these young men have lived seven and eleven years with a supermom, their mother Jaleesa. To me, there is no reason they should call me Mom. I am Amber.
I remember Jaleesa telling me a while ago that Christian would probably cling to me most because his father is completely inactive and there is a void there.
I do not know what it was about that day, or in that moment, that made Christian in the most still voice ask: Amber, can I call you Mom? However, for me to hear those words and see that face in my mirror, I had another moment of knowing I am right where I am supposed to be. Eight months of being completely active in his life, he sees me as “Mom”.
So we talked about it.
Me: Well, okay…I am sure we can work something like that out. How would you distinguish between your mother and I?
Ja’Kobe: Yeah, they both are going to answer.
Christian: I can call mommy “Mama” and call you “Mom”.
Me: Okay, i’m sure we can get used to it. Or if you need to call me Mommy or Mama A or something like that.
And we continued our “normal” ride home. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Jaleesa 🙂
Christian still calls me Amber often. It was one day, he ran up to me and said “Mom, Mom- I mean…no Mom” lol. As he was going to correct himself and say Amber, he quickly correct himself and kept it at Mom.
That day was special to me. Not because of the title but because of the meaning of the title. My boys can call me whatever feels comfortable for them. But, to know that they recognize my love, my presence, my action, my effort and attributes of a parent (a mother); I am so grateful to be appreciated as such. I try my best to give them my best effort. There are some days I am ill and there are days where I still feel so brand new at this. But, as we learn together, I promise them and myself that I will never stop loving and being a presence in their lives.
– Amber aka Mom