"Boy is with his grandparents," I said. "He'll be here tomorrow."
I went in to collect The Lad. He's been at daycare as usual this week so my in-laws could
be straw-bossed within an inch of their lives spoil The Boy silly enjoy time with his funny, busy older brother. As I walked back out to the car, several of the kids called out. "Bye! Bye, Lad! Bye, Baby Lad. Bye, Mr. Lad!"
"Bye!" I said back to all of them, waving. Anthony, sitting in the corner on a big wheel, waved back.
"Bye, Boy's Mom."
It was one of those moments that catch my breath and make me smile because I realize, "Oh my. I really am a mom. I really am the responsible adult here."
I am a daughter and a sister, a friend and a wife. I am a reporter and a writer. I've been a student and a cashier and a produce girl and a factory worker. But for the next two decades, while the kids are in school -- really for the rest of my life, I suppose -- a whole swath of the people I know will see me primarily as The Boy's Mom, as The Lad's Mom.
Before having kids, even while I was pregnant, I thought that might bother me. I thought being a mom might blot out some essential part of me. Hell, some days I still struggle with keeping enough personal time and space. But when I get right down to it, I don't mind being the mom. I didn't feel negated when I heard that little boy call out what he thinks of as my name. I got the same tingle of having a secret I feel when someone uses my married name at work or my maiden name, which is my byline and professional name, when I'm with my husband. I've joked since getting married and using two names that I've got a secret identity and I like it. Being a mom is just another identity.