“My boys think I’m great just because I’m here with them. Between unnamed boulders and boulevards, I realize a new name has been given to me. It will be known only by two; and that is purpose enough. ‘Dad.’” –We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson
When I became a wife, I changed. I became a partner for life with the man I believe with all my heart was designed specifically to complement me. I had to think and live a little less selfishly. I had to put his needs before my own sometimes. I suddenly had to talk out every major purchase or decision with someone who may or may not agree with my perspective on it all.
I changed. And I took on a new name. I became a Bell and a Mrs. I became a wife. My favorite is when he calls me “Wiiiiife!” instead of Sara or Babe or Sweetie.
Then I had a baby. And man, did I change. Overnight I became hypervigilant about the temperature of our little apartment, about the comings and goings of my neighbors. I became obsessed with breastfeeding and babyproofing. I got lost in baby sighs and tiny toes and yawns. I had to plan my life around the baby’s needs. I had important (and seemingly important) decisions to make and I became a research aficionado.
I changed. And I took on a new name. Mother. Mom. Mama. Mommy.
I will go through all kinds of additional life changes. I’ll become mother of teenagers. I’ll become an empty nester. I’ll become a mother-in-law. My name will for some reason stay the same until I become a grandmother.
I’m not sure how to feel about that.