Like all mothers of special needs/medically complex children, I’m used to being called Mom by my daughter’s dozens of care providers. As in:
“Hi, are you Mom? I’m Dr. Vargas.”
“Ok, Mom, I’ll have you help hold June for this part.”
And, “Mom, does this plan of care sound good to you? You have any questions?”
It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it’s amusing to be called ‘Mom’ by people who are five years younger than me and 25 years my senior alike.
But now that my pregnant belly has come to dominate my form in my third trimester, I’m consistently being called ‘Mama’ by strangers, cashiers and passers by, even without children in tow. As in:
“Hey, Mama, how you doin today!”
“That’ll be $9.57, Mama.”
And, “Looks like you got your hands full, Mama, let me get that door for you.”
This also doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s actually even more amusing. It’s as though my matronly air has grown so strong that humanity universally decided on a nickname for me. Or like Spider-Man and his suit, my alter ego is trying to establish itself as my permanent default identity. I think the game I like best is pretending that my “street cred” around here has reached critical mass, and in this ‘hood, I’m known simply as Mama from the Unit.