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Monday, January 24, 2011

Farewell, Dear Mama

We are gathered here today, good friends, to lay to rest the beloved, the cherished, "mama."  She truly brought joy to all who encountered her, and gladdened the hearts of the family constantly around her.

I remember the time before "mama."  It was marked with anxious trepidation, as I waited for her to arrive.  Each day, I'd ask the babies, "Mama? Mama? Say mama.  Can you say mama?"

Alas, it was all for naught.  The cursed "dada" was all that could be heard.  The disappointment, as the days and weeks and months flew by, became palpable.  We practiced and practiced.  "Emmmmmm."  "Mmmm."  Mmmaaaa."  "Ma."  "Mama."


The day she made her first appearance, I had all but given up hope; I couldn't believe my ears.  Was it a mistake?  Mama?  Did they say mama?

From that day forward, mama stayed with me, day in and day out, becoming an integral part of my life.  Soon, I couldn't fathom a day without a constant barrage of "mama mama mama mama mama mama mama mama maaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaa."

I admit, I often took her for granted.  Some days, I would actually be annoyed at her constant utterance.  I would roll my eyes, wondering why I had ever yearned for such a thing.  Now that mama had arrived, it seemed she would never leave.  She certainly would never give me a break.

Mama, I apologize.  So often we take those closest to us for granted, as I did you.  I'm asking you here, please, come back to us.  I'm sorry I didn't treat you right.  I promise I will hold you in the highest regard, treat you with the utmost respect.  If you come back, I promise, I will appreciate you.

But, I fear, it is too late.  The time for mama has passed.  The year or so we spent together meant so much to me.  I may have lost you, but I will never lose the memories you have given me.

As for "mommy," I must tell you, she's not much of a replacement.  She's close enough to you that every time I hear her name, I think of you wistfully, wishing to go back to a simpler time, a time when two of the same syllables repeated was a speech victory.

Still, I know I must learn to appreciate this new "mommy" much as I had appreciated you in the beginning, before I ceased to see the power of happiness you held.  I must embrace her now because although she's only been here a week, I'm already hearing her replacement, here and there.

The dreaded "mom" awaits right on the horizon, and I ask her, where have my babies gone?  And who are these big children calling me mom?


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  1. I was just talking about this same thing the other day to my friends!

  2. Olivia has already started with Mom and Dad. Sometimes Mama slips back in to say hello, but I mourn Mommy just as much as a mourned Mama.

  3. I just recently became mama, but dada just recently became daddy. And so it begins...

  4. This made me tear up! Does 'Mommy' really come so soon? I'll treasure 'mama' even more now, knowing her time here is limited!

  5. Just wait til they learn your first name and try calling you by that!

  6. Elise calls me Mom, Mommy, or Momma usually...but lately she's been slipping in the occasional "Mother" which is funny and disturbing at the same time lol

  7. I took Linguistics in college, and one of the reasons it's more common for dada to be uttered first is because it's an easier skill for a baby to put the tongue on the roof of the mouth for the "da" sound, then to press the lips together for the "mmm" sound. Or so my professor said :)

    My 18 year old has taken to calling me "Ma". I feel like asking him if I don't even rate a second syllable, or if he thinks we are homesteading on a prarie.

    Mamma may still make a comeback. When I hear mamma from the older set I know something's really wrong and they need the level of comfort and love they remember as wee ones. No matter what age... we are always Mamma, even if we don't get called that.

  8. Aww, that was quick! I'm still mama or mumma, but dada has mostly been replaced with daddy already. Or Johnny, heh.

  9. Aww.. my son calls me mommy and i always complain about it.. but to him, mommy or mama or mom will always be better than DADDY? or DAD? because he knows if he has to go call daddy about something, hes been bad. lol

  10. You never know Mama may make it's appearance again. My girls are 5 and 3 (almost 4) and the 3 year old still calls me Mama. The 5 year old goes back and forth on Mommy and Mama. But I was just telling my hubby that I think it's a southern thing cause I don't recall ever calling my mom Mama, but he on the other hand still calls his Mom, Mama.

  11. My adult kids still call me mama sometimes. I love it.

  12. The time when mama goes away to be replaced by mommy or mom is a sad day indeed. It won't be long before it is gone entirely from my home.

  13. not even gonna lie. being called mommy makes me cringe. i always correct g because i am a terrible person.

  14. I agree with Alicia- it's a southern thing! I'm 24 and have always called my mom "momma". All 7 of my siblings do, also. Of course, I still call my dad "daddy" the majority of the time. My siblings however generally call him dad.

    My dad's family from Indiana? They called their dad (my grandpa) "daddy" and their mom (my grandma) "Mother". Which was odd because grandma was the nurturing type and grandpa was the stoic one.



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