I laugh out loud at even pondering this subject. BUT, If I dug deep enough and really tried to muster up a precise calculation of how many times I hear the word “Mom” in a given day, I’d argue that it’s minimally between 30-40 times – and this is during a school day. Please note: my children are at school for at least seven hours out of the day. On the weekends its usage must peak somewhere in the hundreds (sometimes it feels like thousands).
That said, there normally isn’t a monotone inflection in the young voices that have acutely etched the word “Mom” into their consciousness. The sound ranges from a high pitched yell, “MOOOOOMMMM!”, when I am being beckoned to solve a math problem, bandage a profusely bleeding bruise, extinguish a small kitchen fire, OR most importantly, when the iPad chargers can’t be found in the collective messes called bedrooms. Then, there’s the alto scale. This is typically used when pleas of hunger are being expressed (a half-hour after said culprits have eaten a four course meal with dessert), snuggling, kissing on the cheek, a wrestle-tickle-pin-down ensues, or some other form of physical affection is warranted, and lastly, when my 12 year-old is “putting me up on” the dopest Eminem lyrics from the song Rap God circa 2013 (he was 10 years old and completely absorbed in superheroes when the Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released).
There’s also my personal favorite! The deep Barry White meets Darth Vader baritone breadths of “MUUUUMMMM” that are echoed in great annoyance most Saturday mornings when I’m fussing about chores going undone, pulling the cantankerous five year-old away from Clifford the Big Red Dog re-runs to eat something more nourishing than Honey Nut Cheerios, or when I decide to jokingly reverse the parent-child dynamic. I become self-absorbed, nonchalant, and quasi-aloof during my interactions with the usual suspects for the sole purpose of giving them a taste of their own medicine. As you could imagine, this role reversal doesn’t last too long. My children become completely fed up and disinterested when my world doesn’t revolve around them.
Throughout the challenging moments, the days I wish I had more patience, the tears from extreme feelings of being overwhelmed, the WTF thoughts of “WHY GOD didn’t he turn in his homework?!”, and the somehow-reaching-profound epiphanies from dialogues in which the main subject is who said “booty, doo-doo, and you farted, EEWWW!” – I wouldn’t trade in the experience of mothering for anything in the world. Ausar; 12 years old and Mikah; five years old are exceptional human beings in every way imaginable. I give thanks that they chose me to act as one of many facilitators in the global village that nurtures, provides, and empowers them to live according to their hearts’ desires. These two guys are creativity, raw energy, and stand-up comedy; they are Neil DeGrasse Tyson meets Steve Jobs intelligent. They are personified beacons of hope in a chaotic world.
It is clear that their charge, along with many youth in this generation, is to re-create a new realm that wholeheartedly welcomes expansion of ideas, redefined identities, assorted spaces and places of existence, and mutually beneficial social exchanges unlike anything humankind has ever experienced. Many days Ausar comes home raving about the latest technological advance in gaming or smartphones in a language that I have minimal knowledge; thus, he has started learning computer coding with his first project being developing an app for Apple iProducts.
As for my little rambunctious one, Mikah, I’m completely amazed at the usage of his extensive vocabulary while explaining to the lady standing behind us in line at Barnes & Nobles the difference between toy trains made from wood and die-cast metal. As much as I attempt to teach them, it’s returned in abundance ten-fold.
Here are Five Inspirational Reminders from My Sons:
- Express Daily Gratitude– Joyfully expressing gratitude for all things and all beings in God’s creation. Mikah loves to sit in the dirt and dig (and would until he reached China – if possible). Through this he finds great solace and demonstrates his appreciation for the beauty that is Mother Earth.
- Unconditional Love– Loving someone when it’s most difficult to do so. You’d be surprised, but your kids love you in spite of your fussing, limiting their screen time, or burning the brownies for the school bake sale. Perfectly imperfect I am, and my boys love me still. They even tell me sometimes!
- Forgiveness– Fully letting go of the past (even if it was yesterday) and accepting the present. Kids get over things quickly. They don’t hold grudges, and they accept you just as you are each day. Extend this same grace to someone you know.
- Mindfully Living in the Moment– I observe my children when they are focused on something. Learning a new game, playing with friends, drawing, or riding a bike. They are completely absorbed in that one task with full enjoyment. The concept of multitasking has no meaning in their scopes of comprehension. Yesterday is the past, tomorrow isn’t promised, all we have is the NOW. Be present.
- Playtime– Stop taking yourself so serious and have fun! Remember what life was like when you were seven, 12, or 16 years old? Stomping rain puddles in freshly ironed clothes, rapping freestyle lyrics to the Ne Ne song after a long day, or posing for a family collage of selfies are cool ventures that have landed me a membership into the “Cool Mom” club. It’s good to let your kids see that you know how to have a good time. Too, it balances out the other times when you have to lay the smack-down. “DO YOU HEAR, what the MOOOOMMMM IS COOKING?!”
About the Contributing Writer:
W. KaNeesha Allen is an educator with extensive project management, student support services, and community outreach experience in K-12 and higher education institutions. She is also the mother of two extremely rambunctious and fun loving boys – Ausar and Mikah. While often seeking to master the balance between being a highly engaged mother and taking time to BE with herself in the divine energy of the universe, KaNeesha finds peace, solace, and regeneration through meditation, Vinyasa yoga, and her “Sistah Circle”. As the Motherhood Empowerment contributor, she welcomes mothers from everywhere to join her on a journey of self-discovery and evolution towards harnessing, embodying, and emoting the Goddess power within. Read her latest posts.