Year Two: Part 1

29 Jun

At some point, she said, Momma.

I say that as though I don’t know exactly when it happened. As though I I hadn’t been waiting for that moment since I first peed on a digital stick and it said: Pregnant. She was 18-months old. It was the week before the Super Bowl, a few days after my birthday. She said it nonchalantly, as though saying momma were completely ordinary for her. As though she had been saying it for half her life, which is exactly how long she had been saying Dadda, which was eventually replaced with Daddy.

I loved being called Momma, but it wasn’t meant to last. These last few months have been marred by the constant arrival of teeth. From 12-months to 19, she had exactly four teeth. Sweet little beaver teeth in the front of her mouth. Plenty enough to tear off food and mash with her gums and jaws, but poor substitutes for the tongue controlling bicuspids and sound vibrating molars she has sprouted since turning 1 1/2. And with all of those teeth has come a slurry of words. She was a formidable gesturer and grunter (Ohhhh could she point, scowl, and squawk) for as long as I can remember. But those grunts and points have been replaced with This and That. Her musical Uhhh-OhhooOOhhh now has tons of explication. Things GO Up! They Fall Down! What was once merely Ow, is now Knee hurt. Hurt my leg.

And in all that need for clarifying her thoughts, for speaking so that she might be understood, for annunciating, Momma vanished almost as quickly as it came. Two weeks ago, she beckoned me from another room by shouting, Maaah-mee (she says it deep in the throat like that, the ah-sound coming out like the catcalls of brown-skinned day laborers). And ever since then, it’s been my name.

I will always be her mommy, but I miss being her Momma.


4 Responses to “Year Two: Part 1”

  1. Garrett June 29, 2009 at 7:28 am #

    “I will always be her mommy, but I miss being her Momma.”

    I suspect that in your mind this is probably a sentence you could spend a great deal of time describing all that it means but, I don’t get it. So you are going to have to help me understand it’s meaning.

  2. Alejandra August 1, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    I get it. And it’s beautiful. I just stumbled onto your blog from a comment you let elsewhere because your name caught my eye (it’s my own Mama’s name) and I love it! You’re a beautiful writer. Will definitely keep coming back.

    • Yolanda August 1, 2009 at 11:43 am #

      You are kind, Alejandra. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am humbled easily, but I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read what I put out into the world.


      Yolanda Lockhart-Howe

  3. trudy November 6, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    I’ve just found your blog too… Love this photo so much… & your amazing writing. I have two wonderful babies now 22 months… They don’t look like me (as they were adopted) but my daughter looks a lot like yours and both babes have my sense of humour..! Hugs T x

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