Sometimes, when my husband and I are hanging out with our two boys, for a split second the whole concept of parenthood crystalizes and it clicks that we are the mom and dad to these two kids and not just four roommates kicking it after dinner. That we are raising boys. And we are in charge.
That when our boys think, “I need my mom.” – they are thinking about me. I am THE mom. Which is weird because, Peggy (my mom) is THE mom. Not me. I’m the oft-bratty, always loquacious, oldest Barons kid. And even now, as I bask in the glory that is the birthday month of my 33rd year, I still see myself that way.
Of course, I realize that I’ve been a mom for a while. Raising boys for going on seven years in fact, but there’s a shift happening in our house right now. Our boys are getting older and they need less and less from me in order to meet their basic needs. I am becoming a mom, less out of duty and obligation and more out of virtue. There are no more diapers, no more sippy cups with complicated lids to screw on. No more missing paccies or onesies to snap.
We’ve moved into the era of “Put on your shoes!” and “I sunk your Battleship!” – and it is actually kind of the best. Because as much as I hate that my boys are too long to snuggle in my lap for much longer, I equally love that we can all independently wipe our butts after we poop and catapult marshmallows into our mouths when we play Pie Face – ideally with some vigorous hand washing in-between.
So now, when my boys call for their mom, it’s not so much that they need something from me (although they often do) it’s more that they want to keeps tabs on me. Where I am. What I’m doing. Am I available to watch an epic Pokemon battle? It’s actually kind of flattering, because it seems to me, that these little fellas are actually choosing to want me around. Not to get them something or do anything in particular, but to just be around them, in their space – as their mom.
As I type this, my boys are playing “Adventure”, which is boy-speak for systematically destroying every single room in my house, while they pretend to be on some sort of mystical quest. Every now and then they skitter past the dining room and give me a tiny smile or ask where their brother is (guys, there are literally 6 rooms in our entire house) – just making sure I’m still around, doing all the mom-ish things they’ve come to expect.
And I am.
Because I’m the mom.