By Jamie Etheridge
Inspired by Tom Chiarella’s What is a man
A mom is sound – the first sound a baby hears. She is the first cry, the squelch of a wet kiss, playground laughter, whispers in the dark, a gentle lullaby.
A mom is touch – every hug, every scraped knee, baby's first bath and a tear wiped from crying eyes.
A mom is color – the snow white of spilled milk, the fuchsia pink of an infant’s lips and the aquamarine of a newborn’s eyes. She is the mustard yellow dirt on the carpet, the deep ink of an eggplant’s skin. She is the texture of sand and silk.
A mom radiates the rainbow in her child’s eyes.
A mom is comfort. She doesn't think twice about holding a sick child through the night, singing softly at 3am as she rocks her baby to sleep.
A mom is a woman. A vibrant, intelligent, curious creature with a lust for life and for the physical touch of her partner. She reads, studies and learns.
A mom is a teacher. She shows by doing. She weighs her actions because she also knows she’s a model, an example her children will live by.
A mom is a gardener. She tends and waters and cultivates. She grows.
A mom is a friend to other moms. She offers and accepts advice. She shares recipes, birthday cakes and information. She does not horde things or people. She is humble.
A mom always carries a tissue or baby wipe, an extra snack or pair of shorts and a bottle of water. She considers and plans for the needs of her family. She cooks and cleans and shops and sings and deeply appreciates five minutes alone in the bathroom.
A mom is the smell of fresh baked bread, of breastmilk and the lightest, sweetest perfume. She smells as clean as lemons and as sweet as oranges. A mom remembers the scent of her newborn’s hair, the soft fragrance of baby powder on a freshly washed bum.
A mom is memory. Their first steps. Their first word, first day of school. First day. She remembers and gladly shares her memories.
There are moments when a mom forgets to be a mom – when the aroma of fresh coffee or a song on the radio will remind her of the days ‘before’ and she’ll lean out a window or sit at the kitchen table and reminiscence.
But a mom never regrets. Never chooses any path but the one she’s on. She’s proud of her choices. She walks on.
When she slips, she gets back up and keeps going. Of her mistakes, she makes them and she learns from them. She laughs even when the house is full of sick kids, hubby is working late and there’s a pile of laundry as tall as Everest waiting to be washed.
A Kuwait mom is daring, capable, resourceful and willing to take on a challenge. She can find an obscure park for a picnic, sit for hours in slow moving traffic, have brunch with friends, shop at Sultan Center, pick the kids up from school and still make it home before 2:30pm. Kuwait moms travel and explore.
A mom loves. Wholeheartedly, unreservedly, without conditions and forever.
She is the sun around which her family revolves. She doesn't need to brag about it. She just is and that's enough.
Dedicated to my mom, Dusty, who showed me how to be a mom.