The Evolution of "Mommy"
By Red Dirt Kelly on December 29, 2013
Christmas morning I was sitting in my recliner watching the action. While the opening of gifts from under the tree had taken place with a fair amount of structure, the discovery of what was stored within stockings was rather chaotic.
My mind was fragmented even more, however, because while trying to track what five other people were pulling from their stockings I was also glancing down at some shredded wrapping paper in my lap. Still taped to a remnant of the red and white paper was a note reading: "To Jams."
When my girls were younger, and throughout most of their elementary years, they called me Mommy. Sometime between fifth grade and seventh grade, they both dropped the "-my" and my name evolved to Mom. Later, when my eldest was in high school and my youngest still in junior high, my husband and I - seemingly overnight - became "Mams and Paps." Or sometimes, "Mammy and Pappy."
I don't know when nor why this happened. But the change was delivered with love, not just from our own children but from their friends as well. And so we accepted our new titles and they remained for several years.
There WAS the "everything ending in a Z" phase. This happened about the same time LOL Cats became a pop culture boom with the famous "Can I haz cheeseburger?" question. So, rather than Mammy or Mams, I was sometimes Mamz.
I thought those names might stick. After all, Mams and Paps (or Mammy and Pappy) could easily transition into grandparent titles. But then spellcheck happened. Here, let me show you:
Can you read what happened? I frequently (on Twitter, in text messages, and/or on Facebook) typed "Mams" only to get spellchecked into "jams." I didn't catch all the errors, and pretty soon my children picked up on the faux pas and began calling me "jams." I probably deserved this. One time about ten or fifteen years ago, my own Dad signed his name "Dat," and that title remains to this day.
I forced my mind back to Christmas morning festivities and focused on the reaction of various family members as they pulled item by item from their stocking. And then I smiled again. I rather liked "Jams." I make jam. I like to jam on the piano. And sometimes it seems I get into jams.
Maybe "jams" had found me…and I would just embrace it.
Paps and Jams. Papz and Jamz.
Yup. "Mommy" had evolved and the timeline now included spellcheck influences. And, sweet children who reflect back to me that Jams is a term of endearment, chiding, and love.
I think I'll keep it.
Love ~ Jams
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