When your children are very small, it's music to your ears when your son or daughter begins to babble mamamamama, even though it comes long after da-da. When they're toddlers, your name becomes Mommy as they wrap their sticky little fingers around your neck and give you a kiss and tell you how beautiful you are! However, when they are just on the cusp of throwing a tantrum, that same Mommy can quickly become MomEEEEE! in a shrill voice.
We morph into Ma (pronounced MAAAAA which rhymes with the sound a cartoon sheep makes, in a loud voice) when our children reach middle school or high school, usually around the same time they begin to think you're just too stupid to have even grown up and had a family. Ma and Mom can be used in alternating shifts during those teen years, depending on just how annoying your child thinks you are at the moment. This stage doesn't last forever as you know, because you never see cards addressed to MA in your local card store for mother's day.
When they finally grow up and go to college or move on with their own lives, you can expect to settle into a nice, comfortable "Mom", if all goes well. There can be minor variations on this theme. For example my youngest used to call me Mommo which I thought was very cute.
I have a friend who refers to her own mother in conversation as Mother. Not MY mother, but mother, as in, "Mother is having trouble with her computer", or "I'm taking Mother to Crate and Barrel on Saturday". To me, that sounds cold and distant and I can't help but wonder if "Mother" beat my friend with a wire hanger when she was growing up, a la Joan Crawford.
Don't even get me started on those grown children who call their mothers by their given name. I can't imagine one of my sons saying, "Lynn, would you like more coffee?" Lynnie, however, they've used on occasion.
Be it Mommy, Ma, Mom or Mother, a rose by any other name............! Happy Mother's Day!
Flower photos taken by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous.