Mother’s Day “New Normal”

Mother’s Day is not as simple as it used to be. It used to be on this day you would just be with or think about mom. Yes, your mom, the one in whose womb you resided for about nine months before you came into this perilous place called world.

Nowadays it is not that simple. To illustrate the point, I reproduce a conversation I had with a seven year old girl not too long ago about Mothers. It is not word-for-word, but it is close. We were talking about honoring your mother and she asked me to explain to her who her mother was.

“Is it my dad’s girlfriend who lives with us and dad tells me to call her ‘mom’? Or is it dad’s other girlfriend, my little sister’s mom, who doesn’t live with us anymore but I still call her mom? Or is it the old girlfriend, the mother of my big brother? I called her “mom” until my dad told me to stop because she ain’t nobody’s mom. What about my grandma? When we were homeless I lived with her for a while and always called her ‘momma.’ And my mom who was married to my dad and had me — I haven’t seen her since I was two. I guess I am confused. Who is my mom for real?”

You can understand why that little girl was so confused and today I just realized that when I touched the screen and called my mom via Skype all the way to Brazil without equivocation, I was part of a minority in some parts of the world — “the old normal,” those who are never confused about who their real mom is.

Here is another story involving a little girl from another part of our town. She was playing with a family who is close to my family. Being as clever as she is, soon she figured out everybody’s names and made the right connections. My friends have three children, two boys and a girl. Noticing the kids’ last names, she asked the mom, “Do all your kids have the same name?” Mom: “Yes, why?” Girl: “That’s weird.”

I can’t help but notice that one of the things these two stories have in common is men and women sleeping around with no regard for tomorrow. Welcome to “the new normal.”

On this Mother’s Day, I would like to ask everyone, whether you are in the “new normal” or “old normal,” to put the needs of others before your own. You may be out of practice in this game, so let me walk you slowly through it: next time you feel that urge to populate the earth with more of your kind, think about the little boys and girls who are going to bed (no pun intended) today without no real definition about who their parents are. Think about the crisis of identity they will have to live with their whole lives. Think about the loneliness of children whose father or mother is absent from their life. Thinking about their longing for significance and security in the arms of someone who truly cares.

Then stop thinking and start running. Run to the cold shower and let that wave of foolishness pass. And if you can’t do that, just run. A moment of pleasure can never be worth a lifetime of pain.

Love to all real moms (biological or not) on this day. No nobler human has ever been born.

Ivanildo C. Trindade