“Hi Mom!”

I’m back in the “second birth canal” phase of life, otherwise known as emptying nest.  And my desire to not miss a moment with my young adult children who are launching into the world is partially responsible for my absence from blogging for a month.  Summer.  Sabbath.  Sadness.  Sheets to buy.  Sandwiches to make.  Sushi to eat together.  Summer.

They’re leaving but in stages of course, with a rhythm that matches their original entries into the world (during which a laboring woman might say, at one moment, “never mind; let’s keep the baby inside” and, in the next moment, “Could someone get the forceps?”).  We’re there again.  The babies are bigger, but the delivery into the world has similar rhythms. And I want to think about that and write more in coming days.

Today I’m thinking about the differences in mothers and fathers and an observation I heard once from one of my nearest and dearest.  This is it:  When someone goes to a football game or The Today Show or any such place where cameras are panning for crowd shots, no one ever shouts out (or holds up a sign that says) “HI DAD!”  Why is it always, or almost always, “HI MOM!”?

My near/dear one says that it’s because fathers would say, “What’s he doing at a game?  He should be at work.” or because mothers are more likely (sexist claim; so shoot me) to be watching The Today Show than fathers are.  I vote for the former.

Have you noticed how a young adult kid will call home and talk to Dad and stick to the facts, hardly ever revealing the fact that it might be nice to talk to Mom, with whom they might actually admit that everything isn’t as perfect as it sounds.

That’s why the two-parents-raising-the-children scenario is so ideal… mothers can be cheerleaders when fathers take the “heavy” role, and then fathers can be playful when mothers take the “Don’t stick your hand in there; it could be dangerous” role.  These are stereotypes; sometimes it goes the other way.

But I do believe “HI MOM!” means something different than “HI DAD!”

And I do admit that I’m missing all of my launched ones, even as the nest is clean and quiet and gloriously complete with two of us here.

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~ by Cary on September 7, 2010.

2 Responses to ““Hi Mom!””

  1. You know Cary I don’t know one single mother who is rearing her children alone by choice; or one woman who would refuse to have a child-rearing partner if she had the option. It can be hurtful for those who haven’t been lucky enough to have or keep a husband to have those who have constantly insist that that’s the best way to do it.

  2. Sarah, well said. I totally agree with you and I should have taken the time to nuance that out a bit more (if “nuance” can be a verb)… as I am only speaking of the ideal and was not giving appropriate attention to the reality of where people find themselves and how life unfolds. That said, I do know some folks who state a preference for parenting without a partner, and it’s harder than it looks even with a partner…. Which makes it incumbent on all of us to help those we love, and simply encounter, in raising children. Single parenthood is very hard, whether by choice or default, and married parenthood is also hard (especially in fragile marriages) …and really, all of life is hard. Most people are walking around a lot more wounded than we can see, so we all better “be sweet” as my grandmother used to say. Thanks for speaking up. Point well taken!

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