Skinned knees. Nervous jitters. Prolonged illness. Troubled mind. For me each of these brings up that one feeling that most of us are afraid to admit we have.

“I WANT MY MOMMY!”

As a former preschool teacher, I have witnessed many three-year-old meltdowns which usually begin with a child screaming, “I want my MAMA!!” Because I was the adult in the room, who was not the “mama,” it was my job to smooth things out and make sure we could all get through the rest of the day meltdown-free. Usually, this situation was handled with a well-placed, “I know you do,” or “She”ll be here to get you soon. I promise.”

Last Friday I was emotionally in a very low place. I felt as if my world had been turned upside down. I was feeling lost and surprisingly abandoned. So, I spent the day sulking, wallowing, crying, and sleeping. By the way, none of these activities made me feel better, and I decided a to call my best friend was in order. We met for lunch (Eating usually brings me comfort.), and I cried through quite a bit of it which was slightly embarrassing since we were in a public place. Following our discussion of my problem and eating some amazing sushi, I felt marginally better and was appreciative of my bud’s time and attention. Yet, I was still feeling as if I needed something more.

I remember thinking, “If I could just go home, I would feel so much better.” All I wanted to do was get to my mom and lie down in her bed. In that instant I identified with that screaming three-year-old and made the decision to run away for the weekend. I needed to escape my surroundings, to change my scenery, to know that someone cared. I almost couldn’t wait for my son’s school day to end, and I seriously contemplated picking him up early. However, I stuck it out, but no sooner than 4:00 came around, I hightailed it to my mother’s house two hours away.

The crazy thing about this is that I knew that, due to a previous engagement, she wouldn’t be home when I got there; yet, when I pulled into the driveway, I had the sensation that-once the weekend was over-my world would be righted once again. What I craved was familiarity with a simpler time and a loving presence that without words assured me that all would be well.

I don’t care how old you are. When you’ve experienced the love of someone special that just automatically brings peace to your spirit, it’s a feeling you want to hold on to forever. For me it’s my mom. For you it may be a grandmother, grandfather, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, or some other person that provides an inexplicable stability. We are never too old to need someone special. Those are the people that make this life worth living.

Even when they leave us, we may miss them terribly; but we can always pull up that feeling of “alrightness” that they bring to our lives. That’s the beautiful thing about memories. They provide a warmth inside that passing away cannot erase.

I know one day I’ll no longer have my mommy with me. However, I feel comfort in knowing that I can forever cherish the memories we made together and that her words will be my safety net in times of crisis.

I’ll never be too old to “want my mommy.”

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