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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Lost in Suburbia: Are you my mother?

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  • “Who am I?” I asked my 3-year-old niece as I pointed to myself. We were all hanging out together in my brother’s family room.
    “Aunt Tacy,” she said decidedly. I beamed. I was so excited she recognized me. My brother’s family lived across the country and we only saw them in person about once a year. But thanks to the wonders of video chat on the Internet, we got to see them online pretty frequently.
    “And who is that?” I asked her, pointing to my husband.
    “Dat’s Uncle Joel,” she said.
    “That’s right!” I clapped my hands. “And who is your mommy?”
    She looked around the room and then pointed to my sister-in-law. I nodded. She had this whole family tree thing down pat.
    “And whose mommy AM I?” I asked, waiting for her to point to her older cousins seated next to me. She thought for a minute and then pointed to my husband.
    “Him!” she announced.
    “I’m Uncle Joel’s mommy?” I asked her, trying to determine if she misunderstood what I had asked.
    “Yes,” she said. “You is his mommy.”
    My husband shrugged. My brother laughed out loud. I was not as amused. I wasn’t sure if my niece was confused about the whole “wife” versus “mommy” thing or if she thought I was so old I could be my husband’s mother.
    Uncle Joel, of course, did nothing to help clear up the confusion. He got up, kissed me on the cheek, and said, “See you later Mom, I’m gonna go get a snack.”
    I glared at home. “Don’t choke on a grape,” I said.
    My niece had already moved on to some Playdough. But I was still stuck on this whole mommy question. At first I was concerned that she really did think I was my husband’s mother and I wondered if maybe she realized something I didn’t. When my husband got sick, he wanted me to make him homemade chicken soup, like his mother. And when he left his socks on the floor, he expected me to pick them up, like his mother. Of course, I didn’t make him chicken soup or pick up his socks, and I don’t think his mother ever did either, so I’m not sure where my niece might have gotten the idea that I was his mother. Which just left the question, did she think I looked old enough to be my husband’s mother?
    “Hey, Ali,” I said to her. “How old are you?”
    “Free,” she said assuredly.
    “And how old is your sister?”
    “Five.”
    “So who’s older?”
    Page 2 of 2 - “Becca is.”
    “And who do you think is older?” I continued. “Me or Uncle Joel.”
    She studied the two of us.
    “You are.” She said.
    I shook my head. “And why do you think I am Uncle Joel’s mommy?” I asked her in disbelief.
    She looked at my brother who was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face.
    “Because my daddy told me so.”
    Follow Tracy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.

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