The best mom in the world

November 14, 2009

My son thinks I’m the world’s greatest singer.  I am also the best cook, the best maker of butterflies out of pipe cleaners, the best dancer, and the absolute very best hot glue gun operator.

Kids can be very humbling.  My son is not opposed to informing visitors of my last trip to the bathroom, or when a naughty four-letter word pops out of my mouth when I lock my keys in the car. 

But kids can also be the best ego boost.  The other night as I was tucking him into bed, my son informed me I was the best mom in the world.  He then asked, “Mom, what’s ‘the world’?”

He’s not sure what it is, but he hears older kids talk about “the best in the world” at school, and he knows it’s a big deal.

I am pretty sure I am not actually the best mom in the world.  I don’t think the best mom in the world ever lets four-letter words pass her lips.  She probably never burns the grilled cheese sandwiches or runs around like a chicken with her head cut off when she oversleeps. 

She probably never forgets to comb her child’s hair on those sorts of mornings, because she never has those sorts of mornings.

But she’s missing out.  Because on those sorts of mornings, my son goes to school and reports to his teachers that, “My mom is super fast.”  He means, of course, that I can run really fast between the kitchen, bathroom, and my bedroom as I’m frantically trying to get ready for the day. 

The best mom in the world never hears her awe-inspired child whisper, “You’re pretty tricky, Mom,” as he watches her brush her teeth and put on socks at the same time, or smoothly glide across the kitchen floor in her stocking feet as she butters a toaster waffle while pouring milk into a glass.

The best mom in the world may make a perfect pancake every time, but she doesn’t get to bask in her child’s enthusiastic cheers when, after trying for weeks, she finally presents him with a light, fluffy masterpiece.  On the rare occasion that my pancakes turn out perfect, my son is elated, and he brags to anyone who will listen.

I’ve always known if I’d only had the opportunity to perfect my craft, I’d be a fantastic singer, masterful cook, an artist, a dancer.  I simply haven’t had the time or resources to devote to building upon my natural abilities. 

Don’t we all secretly think we could be great at something if only life didn’t get in the way?

Well, we can.  All you have to do to be a superstar is have a child.  I know it won’t last forever.  I know that someday my son will be embarrassed to be in the same room with me.  But right now, at three years old, he thinks I am a superhero.  For this brief moment in history, I’m the best in the world.

This article first appeared in the Lewistown News-Argus and the Sidney (Mont.) Herald on November 14, 2009.