The kids and I joke about that saying all the time. In our little world that means: I am not the mom who volunteers for the bake sales (although I am admittedly a very good baker and make a "wicked" chocolate chip cookie); I don't chaperone school trips (although I have asked the kids if I could and they quickly deny me that privilege); and, I am not the parent volunteer for their sports teams (although I do know a thing or two about sports and athletics).
So as we approach Mother’s Day, what does it mean to me when they say “You’re not that mom.” Some moms would take offence to this declaration from their kids. And I admit, maybe at first I was a little taken aback. And kids, write this down as the one time I might ever agree with you both, maybe I am a different type of mom.
When the kids were younger, I marvelled at the moms who would create homemade, daily crafts for their toddlers. I think I ordered that book from Amazon. As they got older, I was mystified by the moms who would exclaim how happy they were on snow days. Really?!?
So what type of “mom” am I? I am the mom who cheers on Ethan from the sidelines but who also tells him it like it is like when he needs to "step it up". I am the mom who cried on the phone to a complete stranger in the Miami Heat organization and, because I think he felt bad for me (in addition to being a living angel on this earth), I was able to surprise Ethan with court-side tickets for his birthday. I am the mom who, when Noah got sick, kept my emotions in check (except in the privacy of my own room) and navigated the health care system with laser focus and intent. I am the mom, who when Noah was diagnosed with Celiac and was given a salad with croutons at Boston Pizza, and being unsatisfied with their response that “it was a small mistake”, took it up to a national level to make sure that the company understood how serious Celiac is and insisted that more rigorous gluten free training should be offered to their staff and more rigorous food preparation protocols should be followed.
On the other hand, and, in fairness to me, I am the mom who did try and have a “make your own hat” party for Ethan’s second birthday. I am the mom who attempted to dress Noah as a slice of pizza for Halloween one year. But, if anything, I am a realist - I know my strengths and weaknesses - themed birthdays and homemade costumes are just not my strengths.
I would never advocate or even suggest as moms that we pigeonhole ourselves into different “types” of moms. I write this more as a letter to Ethan and Noah to tell them that while I may not be “bake-sale mom”, I am THAT mom - that mom who loves you beyond comprehension and beyond words. I love you both with a ferocity that conjures up images of the “mother bear.” Like most moms would say and truly believe, I too would go to the ends of the earth for my boys - maybe just not a bake sale :)
Thank you to my beautiful, funny, smart, creative and extraordinary boys for giving me the gift of being your mom on Mothers Day and thank you to my mom for showing me that unconditional love is what defines being a mom, not homemade costumes. And thank you to the wonderful community of "moms" who surround me and inspire me everyday...with your wild, loving diversity and for exemplifying all the kinds of extraordinary moms, we are! Happy Mothers Day!