Occasionally, one of my students would accidentally call me “Mom.” This would not have been unusual, if I’d taught Kindergarten or first or second grade. But I did not teach at an elementary school. I taught at a university. Inevitably, the student who had accidentally called me “Mom” would turn red in embarrassment and apologize profusely. Inevitably, I would respond by assuring the student that it was OK – no worries.
After all, why should it bother me to be gifted with the noble title of “Mom?” Mom, Mother, Mama, Mutti, Ma, or whatever variation of this noble title you prefer is a word of gentleness and warmth. Moms, according to an eight-year-old of my acquaintance who cheerfully volunteered to help with this reflection, are “kind” and “snuggly” and “have open ears.”
Open ears, indeed. Moms are the people who listen with open ears, trying to understand what we want and what we need, even if we’re not sure what we want and what we need. Moms are the people who wait with open arms for us to come home, even if we’ve wandered far and aren’t sure we know how to get back home. Moms are the people who love, no matter what. The world could use more people who listen, trying to understand what others want and need. The world could use more people who wait patiently for those who’ve lost their way. And the world needs more people who love, no matter what.
Thanks, Moms, for leading the way in these matters of listening, waiting, and loving.
May we all follow your lead, striving to create a world of thoughtful listening, a world of patient waiting, and a world of unconditional love.
– Lori Randall