Posts Tagged ‘baby’

In Remembrance


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  2 Comments »

I can’t recall the day I met my mother. Though I don’t remember the moment she first held me in her arms, she never forgot it. As her story went, she looked up at the nurse and announced, “There must be some mistake. This baby girl has too much curly brown hair to be mine.”

I guess that was the only time she refused to claim me. After the hospital proved that I was, in fact, her offspring, Mom never let me forget it. “No child of mine is going to act like that!”

I’m certain the first words out of my mouth were, “Dada!” because it’s a proven fact that babies can make a “d” sound before they can master an “m.” I swear my mother held it against me for the rest of her days.

So when I finally remember meeting Mom, I called her Mama. This name, when said by an innocent child, tugs on the heart strings of all women. It’s a maternal thing and sends joy straight into your soul. Young, loving eyes look up at you and you finally understand why you were born.

Then the terrible twos hit. I was an only child, so I had to be extra terrible to make up for all the brothers and sisters I didn’t have. At least that was my theory.

As I grew, the “Mama” changed into Mommy. “Mommy, can I go play with that cute little boy?” Mommy was a more grown up word that still showed love and admiration, but had an air of independence to it. It was all ruffles and bows during this phase and parenting was a good thing.

Enter the teenage brat years when I referred to her as “Oh, Mother!” There was always an inflection that meant, “You know nothing. My life is more important, certainly more hip and I’m tired of listening to you tell me what to do.” Between a few years of, “Oh, Mother!” combined with, “Duh!” I’m sure I was nearly put up for adoption on more than one occasion.

Luckily, one day her name became Mom. “Guess what, Mom? I’m engaged!”  Mom was a best friend, a confidant and one who always seemed to have the answers. “Mom, how do I make your famous pot roast?”

It seems in our family, when I settled on Mom all was right with the world. It lasted all the way into her 80’s when dementia decided to take residence in her brain. That was when Mom took it upon herself to turn into “Mommie Dearest.”

Though we didn’t fight over wire hangers, she was just as insane. I endured her multitude of fantasy births of more children – Iris, April, Rose and Sweet Pea, just to name a few. And “Mommie Dearest” loved them all better than me.

It was a bit hard to take, but I had my sweet revenge. I was running around the world calling her Dearly Demented Mom.

A year ago today our life-long relationship ended. The last thing I ever said to her was, “It’s okay to go, Mama. Don’t worry. I’ll be just fine.”

I guess it was back to the beginning in the end.

Frankly, it doesn’t really matter all the different ways I’ve called her Mother. They all meant the same thing. I love you, Mom. And I’ll always miss you.

Spreading her legacy throughout the world…one memory at a time.

Mikie Baker