The thing about being a Ma…

Our kids have taken to calling me ‘Ma’. They sound like they are from Boston and not Nashville but they love it so I let it go – could be worse I suppose. “Hey Ma” rings through the house and I am reminded of my place in their lives…

The thing about being a Ma is that you have known them the longest. You got to be a twosome, a duo, partners in crime from the very beginning (maybe they were crimes of sneaking extra cheeseburgers or strawberry ice cream bars but you were still intimidating and everyone backed off because they knew what was good for them).

You got to know them and they got to know you in a way that is unlike any other relationship… I love my husband but I don’t’ think I would let him move into my torso. Just saying.

The path to becoming a Ma is different for everyone. Maybe you aren’t a Ma but a Mommy or a Mother. Perhaps you are a Mama. Whatever your title, you have traveled your own road to motherhood and it is as unique as the pattern of freckles on a redhead’s cheeks.

I’ve known a woman that became a Mama at 14 and I’ve known a woman that became a Mommy at 48. Both loved with the same bright light that only a mother can.

I’ve also known women who longed for children and suffered great loss. Babies they loved but never got to meet. Babies they never got to watch grow into toddlers to hear the words “Mommy come see” ring over and over throughout the house. Attempts that never took, cruel things like ectopic pregnancy, and late term loss for no apparent reason. They are all mothers to those babies too – you just didn’t get to meet them but their mothers did.

I have known brave women who stepped in to be a stepmom. Women who have adopted a treasured baby from another women who made the gut-wrenching decision to let someone else do what she couldn’t.  I have watched these women love the children born from another womb as if they carried those children themselves. As if every kick and hiccup was part of her story too. Those children now have two Mamas. Lucky ducks.

And then there is my Mom. My hippie with an attitude. My Mama Bear.

The thing about being a Ma - midlife intermission - sabbatical

She was awarded her title of Ma at 19 – without any training or resources or an Internet full of advice to reference, she pulled onto the motherhood superhighway at full speed. And she traveled in the SML closest to the shoulder just in case she broke down…

The Single Mother Lane can be treacherous – with potholes and road debris to slow you down. It can be mentally challenging. It’s often lonely and it can be littered with judgment from others. They don’t teach you those defensive maneuvers in Drivers Ed.

But she also got to experience the bedtime stories and the fits of laughter. She knew the tickle spots and the right way to brush my hair. The warm nights on Florida’s sandy beaches and the cool mornings camping in Tennessee – she was always there, tinting our life in the warm glow of sunshine and earthy goodness. Windows down, Fleetwood Mac blaring, we burned up the roads of life together – avoiding the potholes and reckless drivers as best we could.

And she didn’t get a sick day or a sabbatical from her Single Mama title. Not even on the weekends…

Because Saturday morning meant cartoons.

I didn’t understand about sleeping in. Didn’t all moms worked three jobs and attend barber school too so they could move to a nicer place in the good school district? I just knew the Smurfs were on and our only T.V. was in her room. So I arrived at 8am on the dot…

And she would slowly open her eyes as I stared at her (willing her to wake up with my Jedi-mind skills) and she’d  wrap her arms around me and bring me into her warm bed. The twosome, the duo, the partners in crime – snuggled under the covers hoping Papa Smurf would outsmart Gargamel.

This woman’s arms have held me and hugged me. She has carried me from womb to adulthood and held my hand when I had my own babies.  She has known me longer than anyone else in the world.

Her name is Meg. She is my Ma. Today is her birthday and I celebrate her…


  • Tera
    Posted at 14:22h, 11 August Reply

    No better gift then true heart felt words. This is a beautiful tribute! Happy Birthday to your Ma

  • Tracy Lydon
    Posted at 14:58h, 11 August Reply

    Beautiful birthday words for your mom! You made me cry! Happy birthday Megan

  • Laurie Petty
    Posted at 19:17h, 11 August Reply

    Such beautiful words! I was crying because everything you say is true! What a great gift you just have your mom! Happy birthday Megan!

  • Laurie Petty
    Posted at 19:17h, 11 August Reply

    Such beautiful words! I was crying because everything you say is true! What a great gift you just have your mom! Happy birthday Megan!

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