I am a childless mother. In that, I don’t mean anything that may come to mind; I’ve never been pregnant. What I mean is that for almost everyone I know, I act like a mom. I bake cookies. I give advice when it is needed, not necessarily when it is asked. I am the one to call when you are stuck somewhere and you have no idea how to get home or what to do.
I have always wanted children– in about ten years of course– but having known that all my life, I didn’t see any difference from other people in the way I acted. Maybe because I was automatically placed in a position of authority when my two sisters were born. Maybe because it is just in my nature to be nurturing. Whatever it is, I didn’t even realize it until the summer after ninth grade when I attended a week long camp; on the day that each group member was supposed to say nice things about the others-“affirmations”- I received the most sweet and surprising one from a boy three years younger than me, telling me that he thought I would make a great mom. It was after that camp that I began to recognize my maternal qualities for what they were and how often others perceived me as a motherly figure. Fast forward to junior year, when a girl I barely knew and was slightly intimidated by took to calling me Mama Maggie, after I brought cheesecakes to English class one day.
Even my closest friends acknowledge my motherly capabilities. One morning, at around six-thirty, a friend called me screaming because she had found a mouse in the pantry and had no idea what to do with it. Another called me late at night when he was too intoxicated to drive home, but knew he couldn’t call his parents. One of my friends from elementary and middle school who I had lost contact with when we entered high school felt comfortable enough to come to me when she was falling back into depression again after a suicide attempt the year before.
It was after that discussion, however, that I truly became proud of who I am. At times, when friends would joke about it, I would be embarrassed, or respond with something to the effect of “Fine! No more rides or cookies for you”. I realized then that, if I can help someone at their lowest feel better, or be the person that everyone leans on, I truly have another trait to be proud of.
Going to college and living in the dorms, that trait–along with others that I have developed such as my optimism, my cheerful friendliness, and my dedication to all that I have committed to– will help me, and those around me, immensely. Being on your own in the world for the first time is a terrifying concept, and though I am sure I will have my own personal moments of homesickness, I am eager to help others who just need a “mom”.