Thursday, August 13, 2015

Momma Died

When I was a college student, a young mom on my church van route invited me to a candle light party in her small unairconditioned rent house. In preparation she had set up a full display of her candles and candle holders. Arriving late, I packed into the small living room with about ten other women who, between the lot of us, couldn't have afforded to buy the seasonal candle snuffer. Still, out of politeness we sat in the heat with our backs against the fish tank pretending to sniff the candles and awkwardly flip through the catalog.

The mood changed from awkward to intense when grandma, who was supposed to be watching the kids dropped them off extra early, leaving the mom to continue her presentation with the "help" of three kids under five and under foot.

The oldest child played at the mom's feet and watched the baby. The middle child was obeying the mother's orders to "stay in your room, or ELSE" but made his presence known by yelling from his room a series of long drawn out momma calls that built in loudness and intensity, "MooooooommmmmmmAaaaaaaaHhHhhh!"

Watching the mom's face as she attempted to close out her presentation was like watching Mercury rise. Nevertheless, she soldiered on until it happened. She cracked. The boy in the back hollered "momma" one too many times and finally got a reaction, just not the one he was looking for.

The smile faded, the sweat beaded up and rolled down her powdered T-zone. She slammed the candle holder down on the table and yelled back in a shrill voice, "MOMMA DIED!!"

There was a moment of silence, as we watched this young lady try to regain her composure.

Finally, the time came when I was released from this tension and candles party. Having no children of my own at the time, I judged this woman harshly. "How could any God-loving mother ever announce to her own children that she had died? And this in their moment of such intense need that they are calling out to her?!?"

Now, having three children of my own and having reached the end of our summer fun, It seems I have found my own personal threshold for the "momma call". As a matter of fact, every time I hear "mommmmmmmaaaaaaahhhhh" yelled from across the house, I think of this dear candle woman and her "MOMMA DIED!" response. "So fitting." I think to myself, "Just brilliant. I want to give that mom a hug and buy all her candles."

Hold fast mommas, we are not dead, we are still very much alive, and very important (evidently) to the little lives who call out to us. So we shall carry on with our swim supervising, game inventing and snack preparation until the time comes that they return to their studies. And we shall miss their siren call.

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