Saturday, January 26, 2008

Real Mom

This evening I felt like a real mom.

Some women approach motherhood with breezy confidence and always seem to know what they're doing. Their babies lie on blankets and coo instead of screaming with colic all afternoon, their teenaged daughters tell them who they "like" plus all their personal problems besides, and their sons say, "Just stay there, Mom, I'll get it for you." These Real Moms serve cookies and milk when the kids came home from school, and sometimes they all gather around the piano and sing.

I, on the other hand, have for much of the last 21 years felt like I was just feeling my way through this, wasn't sure what I was doing and wasn't a Real Mom--I was just pretending and hopefully no one would catch on.

(I also feel like I'm just pretending to be a writer, and one of these days everyone will start laughing and say, "Ok, joke's over, we were just playing along to make you feel good". . . but that is another story I think.)

But tonight Amy called me from her apartment in South Carolina three or four times to ask me questions about the dinner she and her roommate are putting on tomorrow for four friends. Does the cheesecake have to be refrigerated? Will it be ok if it looks like a volcano? How do you halve a butterhorns recipe that calls for three eggs?

I happily dispensed advice just like a Real Mom--"Oh, it'll be ok, and yes, put it in the fridge, and just use one egg for the butterhorns." Then I added, "And don't do a Grandma and point out all the flaws in your food to everyone!"

And the final gratifying cherry on the sundae of my satisfaction was when Amy said,

Quote of the Day:
"I'm glad I have a mom!"


  1. Awww. Great advice about not pointing out the flaws too!

    You've just proved an idea of mine. I think that most of us look as if we have more confidence than we really do. See, from where I sit, you look like someone who's got it all together. Your kids seem awesome and you even know how to cook! (If it weren't for drive thru-s and frozen dinners I'd starve!)

    btw what are butterhorns?

  2. Rai--butterhorns are dinner rolls that are shaped like rolled-up pizza slices.

  3. I think we share a common pet peeve. Story mothers are always baking cookies when their children come home from school. My children picked up on this. If I happened to be baking cookies when they got home from school they would say, "Oh! You're being a story mother!" Truly REAL mothers have a few other things to do in life besides bake cookies!

  4. I remember when my daughter Jessica got married and called me with a question about a casserole she was making. She asked me if it was baked with a lid. I told her no and she quickly scrambled to the oven to retrieve it off the top of the dish. Good thing since it was a PLASTIC one!

  5. how do you do it? you said exactly what i have felt for years about feeling my way through and hoping no one catches on.. sometimes i feel that way just about being an adult. you'd think once you hit 40 that feeling would quit! i love your blog - thanks for saying these things for all of us.

  6. I feel the same way, but I haven't had any real mom moments yet. I keep waiting for someone to stand up and point at me yelling "Boo!" like in the Princess Pride when Buttercup is dreaming.

    Your part about Amy calling reminded me of one time when I was a newlywed calling my mother to ask her a question about cooking a roast. I called her at work-which was a pharmacy, and didn't identify myself, assuming she knew it was me. She answered me very politely and when I said something to let her know it was me, she burst out laughing. She thought I was a random person calling the pharmacy for cooking advice--they got a lot of weird questions.

  7. oh ok, like crescent rolls
    And as much trouble as I had figuring out the spelling of "crescent" I thing I like the term "butterhorn" better :-D