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The New, Older Mom
M. C. Syben
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The New, Older Mom by M.C. Syben
One day, all the moms were abuzz as we waited outside the Kindergarten door. “There’s a new girl. All the boys are in love with her.”
'What? This is kindergarten for goodness sake. Boys didn’t like girls yet, did they? Times hadn’t changed that much, had they?' Having given birth at age forty-one, I was the oldest mom in the class. I kept my outdated thoughts to myself. No one else seemed surprised.
Sure enough, as the children skipped out the doors in a somewhat orderly fashion, I sensed the boys sported a peculiar glow. No time for socializing—I hurried Luke off to gymnastics. As we drove off, he twisted his neck back toward school like a marsh crane. Had he been smitten too?
“I heard there’s a new girl in class, son.”
“Her name is Addie. Everybody likes her. Can she come over?” He blurted.
“Addie is a nice name.” This was the first girl Luke had invited over to play. “Is she a nice girl?” No sooner had the words left my mouth, I kicked myself. Good grief. She was five years old. She had to be a nice girl, I thought. Like I said, I came from a different era.
“Momma, Addie’s real nice.”
“Of course, you can invite her to play. I’ll meet her mother tomorrow and ask, ok?”
“OK.” Luke almost bounced out of the seat belt.
Later that evening, Luke carefully picked out peanuts from a can of Planters Mixed Nuts. “Momma, do you think Addie will like me?”
As a realist, questions like that caught me off guard. Maybe she would. Maybe she wouldn’t. I couldn’t fake it with “Of course, she will like you. Who wouldn’t like you?” as some younger mothers might have done. Oh, no, not I. I waded through the muck of life in rubber boots and wanted my son to be a realist too.
I contained my panic and gently answered. You only ask Nate, Charlie, and Grant over for playtime. You get along with them best right?”
“Well, it’s the same for girls. Some girls you will want to play with and some you won’t and vice versa.”
I suppose I should have dropped the subject at that point. I didn’t.
“You just selected peanuts from all those nuts. Peanuts are your favorite. I prefer cashews. Daddy loves almonds. Granny likes pecans. That doesn’t make one better than the other. It’s just a matter of taste…what nut goes with what mouth. This world is full of wonderful differences according to God’s plan.”
“So, God made all the nuts in the world, Momma? Our tongue wants some in our tummy and some it wants to leave in the can?”
“Yes! But, remember not to pass judgment on the ones we leave in the can. They are good too.” I breathed a sigh of relief. I had done it right. I was an older, wise mother after all. My five-year-old got it.
Luke was silent for a few seconds. His forehead had acquired scrunches like a huge raisin.
“Luke, you look confused. What’s up?” He left out an exasperated sigh.
“I wonder what kind of nut Addie likes.”
From the heights of hubris, my not-so-wise ego crashed landed—appropriately so. Age granted more free time to devote to mothering but it didn’t simplify much else. I soon learned to add prayer as a staple instead of a desperate measure.
Although imperfection remained a companion and humor came too-often as hind-sight, on occasion, wisdom found me, sent, I’m certain, by in exhaustive, chuckling angels.
I’m not a new, older mom anymore. But I’m a thankful, old mom stepping aside to let my twenty-one-year-old fly having learned that as long as her heart is in the right place, “Mom” is an honorable state of grace. No matter what the future brings, once a mom, always a mom.
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