Once a Momma, Always a Momma
A couple days ago I loaded all the kids in the car to go to the post office. If you have 3 small children, or any number really, you know the carseats and loot this requires make it no simple task. I reserve taking the kids in public alone for special occasions and emergencies only. This time I had a special package for a special lady and I wanted to be sure she would have it just in time for her special day on Sunday. And I wanted Whataburger and needed to go pick out a new dishwasher. Also, let it be known this is not to be my Mother’s Day present so don’t even think about it. You know who you are.
I was sending a birthstone bracelet to a close friend in Austin, an April one to be exact. That and a Whataburger giftcard Brock wanted to throw in for good measure. April’s not my birthstone. Or my kids’. She’s not my mom. Or my grandmother. Or even the mother of someone I know. But she’s a mom none the less and I try my best every year to make sure she gets acknowledged.
When I was still at Texas A&M I interned in Austin with Farm Credit Bank of Texas. I was a poor college intern who brought my lunch but no fork and I decided to make nice with the lady at the front desk and bum one. Little did I know that conversation would turn into a genuine friendship that would still be going strong over a decade later.
I sat and ate lunch with my new workplace bestie, who reminded me of my grandmother, and shared my love for chocolate, everyday for the rest of the semester. She had lost her only son just a few years earlier and on Mother’s Day weekend I dropped a plant off at her desk on my way out the door to see my own mom. It wasn’t anything fancy, it was one of several I picked up from an event we had earlier that week. I sat it down on the front desk where she sat and simply wished her a Happy Mother’s Day. She wasn’t really sure how to respond and eventually her cheery face dropped and she said “I’m not a mom anymore.”
“Of course you are!!” I told her, thinking to myself how silly she would even think that.
“Once a mom, always a mom,” I smiled back. And her eyes met mine with her usual glimmer.
I didn’t know the full meaning of that moment until a month ago when I met her in Austin for lunch. I was in town for a blogging conference and we decided to catch up face to face over chips and salsa. Since we worked together I graduated college, got married and had 3 kids. So much has changed but yet so little. We had kept up over the years, usually in the form of her sending notes and little goodies for special occasions. Every single one in fact. She never forgets a holiday, anniversary or birthday. She even sent Brock this sign with the poem “Why God Made Little Boys” for his first birthday. It belonged to her son and I love seeing it every time I go into our hall bath.
In the midst of talking about Baugh Party of 5 and reminiscing with her about her own son, she told me how what I said that day changed her. She had forgotten she was a mom. She didn’t have a tangible hand to hold anymore and she had written off the most important job one can ever have. Being a momma. Today she celebrates. Because after all, once a momma, always a momma.
A week later I found myself comforting a friend as she was blindsided by the news of their miscarriage. The baby they were so anxiously awaiting to hold in their arms this fall they learned they’d never get to hold at all. It was, and continues to be, a painful journey. And one that no one wants to travel. Just as the excitement of nursery décor, baby names and becoming a momma began they were put on hold. Put on hold because she too is still a momma. Her baby might not have took a breath on this Earth but today I celebrate her too, because once a momma, always a momma.
The truth is, once you are a momma there is no turning back. Your children are as much a piece of you as you are them. No matter where your babies are, you will always be their momma. And that is definitely something to be proud of. Today we celebrate you, wherever you are in this momma journey.
We celebrate the stay at home mommas. The working mommas. The grand mommas. The just found out you’re gonna be a momma mommas. The single parent mommas. The multiples mommas. And especially the don’t think you’re still a momma mommas. We are all mommas. We all love our babies just the same, and that is what matters most.
And to two of my favorite mommas, I love you both, and am praying your day is extra special. Today I celebrate with you.
Happy Mother’s Day!