A large portion of our weekends and afternoons are spent around big groups of kids and parents, either at the pool or soccer practice or a playground. And at pretty much every gathering, most of the women answer to “Mom” or “Mommy.”
I have often worried that the kids would call for me but I wouldn’t know which of the many moms they were calling for. I was afraid I wouldn’t be there when my kids needed me. So I have always told them to call my first name if I didn’t answer to “Mom.” But never once have they hollered for “Jennifer” when they wanted me.
At a recent pool party, I spent the afternoon with one eye on my kids and the other on my magazine. I was oblivious to the noise of the kids happily splashing each other and didn’t even look up at the chorus of “Mom” throughout the afternoon.
But then, I heard a child’s cry and immediately jumped up to look for Laurel without even thinking. When I found her on the pool deck with two scraped knees, the lifeguard said, “I was about to go get you, but you ran over as soon as she cried. It’s funny how moms always know that it is their child who is hurt.”
And he was right. The reason that my kids have never called for “Jennifer” is that a mom always knows her own name, even if their kid just yells “Mommy.”