Mama knows best

Today I was reminded of the time I ran away. 

I was 4 or 5 and I heard the word NO.  I stomped off in a huff and decided that was it. Something about my world was drastically wrong so the logical choice was to quit my world. I had one of those pretend doctor’s kits and figured a doctor’s bag was as good as a suitcase. I dumped my plastic stethoscope and thermometer on my bedroom floor, chucked some Wallace & Gromit Band-aids across the room, and generally stropped around a bit while I packed my personal belongings. I don’t think I brought much…my blanket took up most of the bag. 

I zippered up my coat – a classy 90’s number – and marched out the door. My mum waved me off (she was annoyingly supportive of the idea).

Perhaps I’m romanticizing this, but I remember a decent amount of blustery wind blowing in my face and freezing my hands. I gripped onto my suitcase and I walked on. I have no idea where I was headed…probably somewhere without vitamins or vegetables, somewhere with people who said yes a lot. And then I felt this tiny seed of fear take root in the pit of my stomach. It grew pretty quickly and suddenly I was wondering if I was making a very big mistake. 

I was a small girl in a red coat holding firmly to her pride and a pink blanket, standing in the middle of a quiet English street and paralyzed by fear. In that moment I didn’t care who was right or wrong. I didn’t actually mind that my world had temporarily fallen to pieces. I really just wanted to be safe in my mama’s arms. I tore up that seed of fear, choked out some tears, and I turned back. My memory goes blank at this point but I know when I hesitantly opened our front door that afternoon, my mum was ready for me.

My mum has always been ready for me. 

Becoming an adult wasn’t much of a transcendental experience. I turned 18 and crossed the line from minor to flustered fledgling, flapping around the nest in a panic chirping but I only know how to cook macaroni!!! 

I didn’t think I’d grow up and suddenly not need my mama, but I guess a part of me assumed life would come in waves and I’d have to make the over-under judgment call, hoping if I dived under that I’d resurface or if I jumped over I wouldn’t swallow a salty spray of regret. I assumed I’d figure it out because that’s just what you do – you strap on the heels and say okay world, let’s do this big girl thing…or for you gentleman readers you fumble with the tie and take on the suave dude thing {I tried…}.

The point is even as an adult I continue to need my mum. I need her love, her grace, her cakes, her wisdom, her faith, her cleaning skills, her trust, her laughter, her wit. I also really need her hugs. I need her reminders to pray it through and keep breathing. I need her to hold me and then tell me I have to stop running away. Because running away doesn’t actually solve anything. It gives our pain, our anger, and our confusion a power over us that only wreaks more internal havoc.

My mum will forever know best. Even on the rare occasion she’s wrong, she’ll still know best, just because she’s my mama. 

So I called her today and listened to some tough love and I cried and I laughed and I treasured hearing her voice on the other line.

Theme for today: Mama’s are the best – can I get an amen?



4 thoughts on “Mama knows best

  1. Amen? Sweet words of wisdom Amy for your very sweet mama. I’m sure she shed a few tears reading this. What a wise woman you are!

  2. I am a little choked up just now. You will always have me, even when you don’t think you do….that sounds a lot like Nanny Mcphee actually!
    I am so proud of you. It’s an honor to have you as my daughter. love you to the moon and back.

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