Have you heard of the Man Repeller Writers Club? Every month we pose a story idea, you write about it and then send it to us (email@example.com) with the subject line “MR Writers Club.” We go through all submissions and post the winner on the first Saturday of every month. Ready? Let’s go.
You know how parents have a handful of go-to stories they tell about you over and over? One of my mom’s favorites is of a time when I was around seven years old and I asked her if she realized how lucky she was. When she asked me what I meant, I responded with something like: “Because you have it all figured out. You have a house and family and kids you love and you got past all the hard parts. You’re done.”
She retells the story often because she thought it was an absurd and precocious thing for me to say given my age, but I remember the feeling that drove me to say it very specifically. When I was a kid, my mom always gave me the impression of being settled — of being this loving and happy constant in a sea of variables. I remember feeling comforted and envious of it, like I wanted to be her, quick. And everything between where I was and that ultimate state was just fluff. Eventually I grew out of the delusion that the role of “mom” was this sort of final destination, but I’ve never shaken this idea of her as a buoy. I feel grateful for that every day.
It’s hard to think of a more multifaceted term than mom. It has depth, complexity and nuance, and it looks different for everyone — those who have one, lost one, want a different one; those who are one, want to be one, don’t or can’t. It’s a term and role drowning in cliches good and bad, constantly co-opted to mean something more than the sum of its parts. And so, in honor of Mom’s month, tell us what “mom” means to you in 500 words or less, and send it firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 30th.
Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images.