“Hey, mom!” Such a simple phrase, one I’ve heard probably thousands of times before. But this one took my breath away. It hit me like lightning. This one sounded different.
Because this time, it was my youngest, my baby, who was saying it. He’s nine. Obviously, he’s not a baby. But up until today, he’s always called me Mommy. But today, he called me Mom.
I stood there, staring at him blankly. Snapping back into reality, I quickly responded, “What’s up, buddy?” I was trying to listen to him, but my heart was breaking a little inside. I realized something that made me hurt inside.
I will always be a mother, but I’m no longer anyone’s Mommy.
It had to happen eventually, of course. I knew my kids wouldn’t go off to college calling me Mommy. But still. When the youngest stops saying it, it feels different. Ouch.
I tried not to react visibly, as I didn’t want to make him feel bad or draw too much attention to it. This is what is supposed to happen. What’s the well-known phrase, babies don’t keep?
It didn’t bother me as much when my older children called me Mom because I still had my youngest saying it. I’ve been a Mommy since 2009. I went from Mama to Mommy to Mom. Being a mother has its stages of development, just like children. The transition is seamless and sneaky if you ask me.
Sometimes I look around, still searching for my diaper bag or double stroller. Those are long gone. They’ve been replaced with a wall of backpacks and rollerblades in the garage. And that’s ok. I love the stage of life we’re in, and I’m excited to see where life continues to take us as a family.
I know my children will need me as their mother for many years to come. My mom hat will look different as we navigate upcoming milestones like dating, driving tests, first jobs, college applications, and everything else in between. I know I will be their mother through it all, and I can’t wait to be there for those exciting moments.
I’ll miss being Mommy, who reads bedtime stories and kisses their boo-boos. Or Mommy, who brushes hair into the perfect set of pigtails, holds their hand in the parking lot, and pushes them on the swing at the park.
I’m moving from Mommy to Mom. I lost two simple letters, but it feels like so much more.
I love being their mom. But I will miss being their Mommy.