Trading Mom

One of my favorite movies growing up was called Trading Mom. The plot was about 3 siblings who shared an overwhelmed and frustrated mother. The father was absent and the mother was struggling to keep everything together. The siblings learned of a spell to make all traces of their mother disappear from their existence and memory. They each received a token to pick out a new “perfect” mommy from the mommy market. If they couldn’t find a better mom after 3 tries, they would become orphans for the rest of their lives.

What kid wouldn’t have wanted to pick out a new parent(s) at some point in their life? Some of you adults probably wish there is a mommy market out there to replace your mother. Either way, we are stuck with the mom we got.

Lapedtra is the mom I’m stuck with for the rest of my life. I really wish I could remember the day I realized that “mommy” wasn’t her actual legal name and it was a title that she acquired the day my older brother was born. I wish I knew my mom in her early twenties before she was “mommy”. I think we would have been friends. She was (and she might still be) this individual with hopes, and dreams, and ambition, etc. Over the past 26 years she has made me believe that I’m included in her list of hopes and dreams (and hopefully I’m at the top of that list), but I’ve been thinking that maybe there is more to my mother than just being my mother. I wonder what her hopes and dreams are now. Only in writing this do I realize how little I know about my mom outside of her role as my eternal advocate.

For any of you who know my mother, you know that she is a very relational-oriented person and there isn’t a single soul she wouldn’t help. If you don’t know my mother, think of something you really like about me and I promise you that quality is magnified 10x and is part of the essence of my mother. I’m tempted to write out 26 years worth of amazing things about my mother that the world should know about. She is also human and she isn’t perfect. Our relationship isn’t perfect; I don’t call as often as I know I should and I probably have hurt her feelings more than I know. It doesn’t take away from the fact that there are so many things about my mother that I admire that I should tell her face to face. In short, if I do turn into my mother it would be something that I would embrace and the world would be better because of it.

The way we celebrate Mother’s Day is a little off. We are basically celebrating moms who parent us up to our standards. Mother’s Day would be better served if we acknowledge our mothers as human beings outside of their role as our caregivers. Mother’s Day should be about honoring moms for being good, imperfect, fallible people who are trying to navigate and negotiate this world just like the rest of us. Mother’s Day should also be about remembering the moms who are live in our hearts and not on this Earth and celebrating the person that they were and the legacy they leave behind. Mother’s Day should be about forgiving Mommy Dearest and taking into consideration that maybe she isn’t happy that she didn’t live up to the expectation of what kind of mother (or person) she had hoped to be. Forgive her for your own sake, accept the apology you may never get, and honor the women who have impacted you’re life in a positive way. Mothers Day should be about the women who don’t have children of their own, but have influenced many generations of children. Mothers Day should also be about loving on the moms who have lost children.

In the movie the Trading Mom, the kids got to try a new mom for a week. Each new mommy had 1 great quality and a whole bunch of horrible qualities. At the end, the kids began to describe their version of a perfect mom. It was no surprise they described their original mom. The spell was lifted because they were able to remember the little things that made her perfect and the next morning they woke up and their tired and frustrated mother was back. The difference was that the children were able to see her for who she was and not just what she did for them.

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin” –Mitch Albom

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