Super Mom

How I finally became a Super Mom

I’ve seen kids play.  Lots of kids.  My campers, neighbor kids, kids at the play ground, kids at school, kids at drama camp, and my own kids and foster kiddos.   It’s actually one of my missions in life to create safe spaces for kids to play and to teach older kids how to play.

When we play we actively flex our creative muscles. 

We stretch our ability to problem solve and improvise our way out of tricky situations.  We feel what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone with power or big feelings.  We practice roles we’ll play in the future.

After parenting anywhere between 1 and 5 children at a time (thanks to the enriching experience of foster parenting), I’ve observed kids pretending a lot….  I’ve seen them jumping around like Batman and I’ve been the victim of lots of pretend spidey webs being shot at me.  I’ve watched Egyptian Goddesses, Lightning McQueen (Ca-chow!), Peter Pan, Tiger Lily, and (my all time favorite) Captain Hook, as well as all numbers of animals: dogs and cats and bunnies and dogs again.

Did you every play house growing up?

I did!  I remember playing house when I was in 1st or 2nd grade.  My playmates were neighborhood kids who were a few
years older than me, and I always had to be the little sister and I never got to play the mom.

 

But one day it was my lucky day, or so I thought, and I got to play the mom! 

 

I got to make the pretend meal and rock the pretend baby and most importantly I got tell everyone what time it was and what we were doing next.  However, one of the big kids, a 4th or 5th grader convinced me that Mom’s said a certain four letter word and that I couldn’t be the mom unless I said that word.  I so wanted to be liked by this older playmate that I used that word and guess what?  You bet, those friends of mine immediately turned and ran back to our babysitter yelling all the way, “Melani said a bad word!!!!”   I learned a big lesson that day, but that’s another story.  Fast forward to the present.

The title of Super Mom is thrown around all the time.

I’m visiting with my foster son, who lived with us most his growing up between ages 1 and 4.  He’s now been living with his mom for a year and doing great in kindergarten.  We have the amazing gift of being able to see him and spend occasionally weekends with him.  Well on this occasion, his mom brought one of his friends with him to pick him up from spending the weekend at our house.   Our little guy ran up to the car to say hello to his friend.  “Hi! Hi! Hi!  This is Mommy Mel!  You remember Mommy Mel???”  His mother explained to me that though his friend had never met me before, that Mommy Mel and Daddy Ken (my husband) were quite famous around their neighborhood.   Whenever they played house our son would divvy out who had the lucky turn to play Mommy Mel or Daddy Ken.  I can’t think of a better compliment I’ve ever received.

As a playwright, my heart is bursting that I might be a worthy literary character in a young child’s play. 

As a mom, I can’t help but stand a little straighter as I face my long list of parental duties knowing that I’m on a little boy’s hero list (right there next to Spider Man and Super Man.)   And as someone who wants to create safe places for kids to play, I can’t think of any better way to have fulfilled my mission for this one beautiful child.

So don’t give up!  Celebrate each small victory!  Little eyes may be watching and wondering how their super hero is going to overcome what life throws your way!

 

Copyright Melani Lyons 2017

Melani Lyons is the founder and Artistic Director of Dandylyon Drama. She’s prone to bursting into song, finding inspiration for her next play from real life, and dancing around her family room with her kids.

 

 

Melani

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