I've been doing a lot of thinking about being a mom lately and (obviously) specifically being Lola's mom.
Before Lo was born, I was worried I wouldn't be comfortable with being called Mommy. (For the record, I'm still not "Mommy" but I am a bonafide "Mama.") I'm sure I'm not the first nor last first-timer to have qualms about entering the realm of title vs the more familiar name, I still think it was a valid worry because I'm not so quick to accept change.
I can't pinpoint the exact moment when Mama become comfortable but I can tell you that I took me a long while before I could refer to myself as Mama without an inner wince.
Last night I found myself at Panera, alone for once because Tee's mother had Lo. I listened to a little girl calling her "Moooooooooommmmmm" to see what kind of soda to fill their communal cup with. Now I'm not prone to fits or faints or seizures or visions, us sturdy Midwesterners are stoically ANTI that sort of nonsense but I had this weird, dizzy disorientation while watching this child.
"Is that what Lola sounds like when calling me?"
"Is that Lola in a few years?"
"How do I identify with that woman, a mother?"
"Will that be me in a few years?"
I saw myself stacked amongst the rest of the worlds' moms, like still frames in a projector reel.
This got me thinking of images of mothers everywhere, all the same, same name, same post-partum shape, same weary way of responding "what honey?" I actually had to shake my head to dispel this uncomfortable train of thought and allow my rational side to take over.
I don't have to identify with that woman just because we're both mothers. Lola and I are a mother-daughter dream team no matter the parallels we have with others. Despite the fact that I DO carry the same title as millions of other women. I DO have a saggy mom-body and I DO have the habit of absentmindedly answering Lola's many queries with "yes baby...?"
I think I was worried about a loss of self way back when Lo was in utero and I was busy terrifying myself with "what-if's". I saw the similarities of the many many Moms out there but there was one thing I didn't, nay, couldn't have known yet.
While I do share many characteristics with many others, there's one thing I don't share with them... Lola. And this is a major difference indeed. Because Lo is so original in and of herself, I can indulge in some typical mom behavior like forgetting to care about things the used to matter (shaving of legs, styling of hair, clean clothes), having a horribly messy car (mooshed crackers, spilled juice), and looking wildly around a store when I hear a child shouting "MAMA, MAMA!" even when my child is in the cart in front of me.
Lo counteracts this by singing about everyday objects like newts, Nanny-Baby Kitty, Mama, ice and the moon. By being so contemptuous of banana anything that the offending food item will get an icy stare, how dare it be banana flavored? By sleeping with her mouth open, unabashedly snoring. By being Lo.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes, a very small but key difference can save you from being just like everyone else. Mine is approximately 29 pounds and is the Lola half of the Lola and Mama dream team.