25 July 2014


The little girl is off at sleepaway camp for ten days. It's the first time she's been away from us like this, for this long. Ten days of no "get out of bed", "eat your dinner", "brush your teeth", "read a book". Ten days of no snuggles and no Doctor Who marathons, no broad conversations at the breakfast table about religion and the cosmos, no cardboard boxes being cut up in the living room and reassembled into doll school classrooms and dormitories and furniture.

Instead, there's a trickle of random photos sent out by the camp, mostly out of focus.

Why is the horse wearing a doily‽‽‽

I, dutiful mother, have been sending mail, old-style mail with stamps. A postcard of NYC: "Wish you were here"! A photo of the cat sandwiched between the hamster cages. A quote from Maya Angelou: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

She, my small person, she calls me Mommy or Mama or Mom. And yet, every single time I sign one of those little notes to her, I wonder what to write. Am I Mom? Should I sign it with "Mom"? Ten and a half years into being her mother, signing a postcard with "Mom" feels otherworldly, not right, not me.

I fudge. The "M" is legible, the rest could be anything. She can call me anything, but my name is still my name.


catherine said...

Ha, that is how I sidestep the Cathy vs. Catherine debate in my head. Starts with C, ends with ... who knows?

That IS questionable headgear on the horse!

Heide Estes said...

I thought a pun on "no... menclature" was coming. I sign "mama," which is different, now that I think about it, from what my own mother signed.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Looks like a great time.

I have been Mom since they were old enough to read my signature.

edj3 said...

Yeah I go with the Mom, even now when they are in their 30s. I do a combo when I'm sending something to son and wife: Mom/name. Because while I'm my sons' mom, I'm not my DILs' mom.

Kyddryn said...

Perhaps the doily is to discourage flies?

My mother signs with "Mom", even now, and if I have occasion to write one of my children, I will likely sign the same.

Shade and Sweetwater,