I was that mom for a day

I confess, it was kind of fun.

I let myself dress the part too. Put on this little green swishy summer dress-form fitting even-that stops just above the knee!  And a little heel. My favorite hoop earrings. I draw the line at eye make up, but I was wearing lipstick.

I stopped everything I was doing to do it.  Paperwork gathering, faxing, calls, thank you notes, bills, organizing, RSVP’ing, calendar updating, all stopped mid flow, to get there at exactly 12:30 with the promised goods.

When I pulled up to the field where the boys and girls on Sam’s soccer camp team were having their lunch break, I remembered that I was that mom, and she smiles to everyone. She has a booming and cheerful voice when she says; Hey everyone!  Icey time!

When Sam saw me, he rushed over MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!!! (Being the only fiver yer old in a group of 5-12 year old kids for eight hours a day, must be so intense. I know he maintains so well, and I know it is a long day. Coach says he is unreal. He plays up, and holds his own with the big kids. He has amazing promise… He also is the only person of color there, except for the coach and his grown sons who help out. That makes a big difference to me, and hopefully to Sam too.) To him I am always, that mom I am reminded.

With his friends crowding in, I set the stage; scissors to the oldest boy,  as I unzipped the cooler. With a huge smile, I pause and say; This was Sammy’s idea-so feel free to thank him!


Sammy you’re a cool as a popsicle!

We love you man!

And then it began;


How would that mom handle this?

I could barely breathe. Surrounded by sweaty, thirsty, and rude! Then I remembered that that mom, wouldn’t judge, or be annoyed, she’d handle it another way.

Smiling I put the cover back down, and said; Now what would be another way to make a request?

Silence. Then:


When the carnage was done, and the coaches were also happily iced and blue lipped, that mom made sure the garbage can was in view, (as in no littering boys and girls!) and the ice from the bag to keep the ice pops cold was put in the kids’ giant water cooler. Then she got in her car, and instead of making a swift and silent retreat called out loud for all to hear; Have a great rest of the afternoon kids! You deserve it!


I felt so full of wonder and joy, as I sped off to the post office, the store, and the family therapist! I promised Sam I’d come get him an hour early from camp today so we’d have more time in the pool before we had to pick up his brother.

To me, that mom is an ideal. She is selfless, always looking at how to make her own kid and everyone else’s kid feel the magic and wonder in an afternoon. She puts the world first, and looks good doing it. She sews things together with ease, and leaves only satisfaction, and comfort in her wake.

She lives it. She loves it. She is adored by all.

I fall short of this all the time. I don’t really believe that “she” exists outside of my imagination.  But, I know that I often judge the women who I think are her, or at least appear to be closer to her than me, all the time.


It’s a lot harder to resent those people, when you step in their body, and examine why they might be doing the things they do.

It felt great.


  1. Great story, but I thought at first you were talking about going on a blind date, so I was all psyched to hear how that went!
    Oh well…
    I always knew you’d make a great mom, tho.

  2. What a lovely way to spend a day, lovely time for the kids, lovely memory for Sam.

    I think of these times, when everything in me seems aligned with something bigger and better than myself, as experiences of grace. And writing about it holds the memory, to savor for a lifetime.

    May we learn to be as tender with our human brokenness as we are with ourselves when we soar.

    xo Annie

  3. Loved your story, Catherine-I bet Sam felt like a local celebrity, and those moments are so worth it! I hope you had a drink or four afterwards, that mom totally would have! 🙂

  4. Oh, I don’t know if I can be *that* Mom, but I’m tickled you were. I bet even *that* Mom has some of the same feelings you expressed. Your experience serves as a reminder that parenting is not about the Mom; it’s about the kid(s).

  5. That Mom! Sometimes we get there, or pretty close, huh?

    Unfortunately, for me at times, I am also Mommy Dearest as I wrestle with my own failings.

    “Look good doing it.” It IS essential to look good doing it, right? Don’t want our kids to have images of us looking haggard and unhappy in our role as Mom! I am reminded of the difference between my mother-in-law, who had five children (three adopted) and my mother who had six. My mother often comments about all the work and how hard it was and how much she sacrificed. My mother-in-law always comments about what a joy it was to raise kids. I hope when my children look back that they remember me as That Mom. The one who had joy and looked good doing it!

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