Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unknowing Validation from a Stranger (Or how I almost had a melt-down in Old Navy)

Yesterday I reached a point where I could not take a single more day in my ill fitting off to the mall I went. I was by myself and just took my time trying things on and making a good attempt at shopping, something I normally hate. I went to several stores, got the bras I desperately needed and decided to pick up another pair of jeans at Old Navy since a pair I bought seemed to fit well. I hate that they are a size or two larger than what I used to wear, but oh well. I can't stand wearing my maternity jeans anymore either.

I was perusing the clearance section when a woman pushing a double stroller joined me in the back of the store with the most adorable twin boys they were around a year old and saying "Hi" enthusiastically to everyone that glanced their way. I would have thought that just seeing them would be a trigger moment, but they were so cute and funny that it wasn't what got to me.

After a few minutes of "hi" one of the boys pointed his chubby little finger at me and said, "Mama." I look nothing like his mother so it was clear he was in the developmental stage of symbol words and all women are mama. It is what his mom said next that was my nearly undoing. She responded to her own sweet son, "yes, she is a mama" and he replied "you mama." She lovingly replied, "yes, I am your mama."

I stood frozen to the spot I was standing until the turned away and the tears welled in my eyes. I grabbed my cell phone from my pocket and called my sister to have her distract me enough so I wouldn't end up in a heap under a clothing rack. While my sister wasn't home, leaving a message on her answering machine was enough to distract me long enough to get through checkout so I could run to my car and let go.

The conversation between that woman and her little boy is playing out over and over in my head. I know I am putting too much of my personal story in to what it means, but I can't help that it was a little bit of validation that I have wanted/needed. If it had been a singleton boy or girl it might not have carried the same potency (it still would have rocked me pretty hard) but the fact that it came from a twin boy and the mother of twins boys feels like a sign from the universe.

I am somebody's mama.


  1. Yes you are.

    And I'm proud of you for not having a total meltdown in Old Navy. I'm sure that's what I would have done.

  2. From the mouth of babes. They know. One time, before I had ever told my son I was pg (he was about 18 mos, so wouldn't have understood anyways), he lifted my shirt, pointed at my belly, and said "baby!". You could have knocked me over with a feather. Somehow they "know".

    That little boy knew you are a mama. You are your boys mama. And you always will be.

  3. Aww, I just want to give you a hug. I, too, have a hard time with that. Intellectually, I guess I know I am a mother to my twin angel boys - but having never brought them home, I don't feel like a mama since I will never hear them call me that. It is all so fresh to me I really never know what to say - but I likely would have been in heap in my car sobbing after that. Your strength is amazing. And yes, maybe your angel boys were wispering in the twins ears that you needed to hear from them (if you believe in that sort of thing). Hugs to you.

  4. You are a momma and what a nice way to get the validation that you needed. I'll probably would've started crying right then and there just seeing those babies, let alone have one say that to me

  5. You are sweetie.... Two very special someones' mama. :)

  6. Babies and little kids definitely just "know"... it is a divine mystery. I tend to think they are simply closer to God, in that innocence, and that closeness to the source of all knowledge and light is how they "know" some of the things they know.

    That little boy knew you were somebody's mama. And though I know you know it intellectually, I hope you feel it deep in your heart too

  7. Oh mama, you're are for sure a mama. It's so crazy how kids know these things. I swear I've had more meaningful & tender interactions with children since I lost my own boy. It's like they know something is hurting and they want to fix it. Love to you, sweet mama.