With Mother’s Day fast approaching I’ve been thinking lots about my mom… and myself as a mom… and how I basically want to be my mom but as myself to my kids. Did ya get that? No? Let me explain.
Did your school have career day growing up? I feel like we only had it for kindergarteners, because I have exactly one memory and one photo of “career day” from my entire childhood and it was in kindergarten. What better time to ask children to commit to a lifelong occupation than when they are missing half of their teeth and think you spell phone with an f?
Vanesa dressed up as a baker.
Abby came to school as a teacher.
Chaz, my bad boy, 5-year-old boyfriend at the time, was probably something really cool and outside of the box like a motorcycle rider or a hairstylist.
Anyways, it was a pretty standard prompt. You pick a career, your mom makes you a felt hat to match, and you’re good to go for the rest of your life. Path is paved! Commitment made! No changing your mind!
Always marching to the beat of my own tone-deaf-drum, I did not exactly follow the prompt. I thought of it in a more abstract way. If a career is a job and a job is something you do when you grow up and my mom is a grown up then her job is being a mommy… and I wanna be a mommy too!
Decision made. I would be a mom for career day.
So, when the morning of the big day arrived, my mom let me wear this strange Hawaiian print mumu. (I have not a clue as to how it fit because I’m pretty sure it was for an adult.) But, nonetheless, I shoved a pillow under it since I was apparently “expecting”, grabbed my stroller filled with babies, and headed to career day. I can only imagine what the other parents were thinking when they saw me quite literally roll up with a pregnant stomach and too many children to count.
I joked earlier that it’s funny to think that a kid could know what they want in life at such a young age, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be a mom. I didn’t know what I would study in college or if I would have a separate career, but I knew I wanted to be a momma.
As I grew up, I recognized that not everyone got to choose their path in life. I didn’t know if I would get married. I didn’t know if I’d have biological kids or adopt. All I knew was that someway, somehow, I would love on babies and kiss them and pray for them.
I obviously *did* get married and I *did* have babies… and it’s so much more wonderful and difficult and sweet and exhausting than I could ever have imagined. But I think of that little girl often – the one with the saggy pillow under her dress who’s pushing a buggy full of babies into her kindergarten class. She’d never be offended if someone asked her if she was “just a mom”, because that’s all she’s ever wanted to be.