A weekend conversation between myself and my seven year old son. A conversation every parent should have with their child.
Mom! Mama! Mommy! Mother! Ma!
Darling…my sweet little boy…I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. But all day you’ve been asking me for stuff. Stuff that YOU want. Stuff that YOU like. And I know that for most of it, you need my help to either get it or achieve it. You’re too young to cook, I made breakfast and lunch. You needed permission for a snack after breakfast AND lunch, I served you a reasonable portion. You wanted to watch that movie on cable, I entered the password. You requested time to go play outside, I granted it. You reminded me about that book, I read you a chapter filled with the fun voice effects you enjoy so much. You asked me to come see that gross video of that dog licking the screen for the twentieth time, I conceded with a smile. But really? You want juice? It’s in the bottom draw. You can get it yourself. No more. Not…for the next…two…hours.
No… Do you remember what my name is?
Yes, Elke. My name is Elke. And do you know why I ask?
I ask because THAT is who I am. I am Elke. Not mommy, not mom. When I was a little girl, I didn’t dream of growing up to be “mommy”. That is what YOU call me out of respect. And it’s a job I do willingly because I love you. But it’s NOT who I am. Do you know WHO I am?
Yes, and I love my name and I love who I am. But did you notice that all day today was about what YOU liked to do and what made YOU happy? And it makes me happy to make you happy. But it also makes me happy to make ME happy. Do you think it’s fair for me to be happy by doing the many things that make ME happy too?
And what things do I love to do? I know you know.
Read and write? Draw and paint?
Yes, you are correct again. Those are all things I love to do. But I need time to do them. What happens to all the stuff I love to do if I’m spending all my time helping you do all the things you love to do?
You can’t do the things you love to do?
Bingo. And do you think that’s fair when there are many things you can do for yourself and there is no need to constantly interrupt me? Is that fair?
Great! So what’s the lesson to be learned with this conversation?
You need time to be you. And I should go do some things by myself?
Oh boy, I knew I raised you right. I love you so very much. And if there is something really important you need from me, you can find me in the home office. You know I never ever lock the door.
I love you too, Mommy…Elke.
Ha! Ha! Very funny.
— The Pretty Platform (a.k.a. Elke…. a.k.a. Mom! Mama! Mommy! Mother! Ma!)