I’ve worked with children for a few years now. Even before rejoining the work force I volunteered in my daughters’ schools, worked with Girl Scouts and we always had “extras” at our house. Inevitably, I’ve been called, “Mom” by many children who aren’t mine. Usually this happens when they’re playing or concentrating on something else… it just kind of slips out. I’ve never been offended. “Mom” is a pretty good thing to be called. For the most part it means that the child feels comfortable around you, and let’s face it, moms rock. I’ve been spoken to rudely by children before (usually my own) but seldom is the word “Mom” included in these verbal assaults. My own dear ones prefer, “Mother” when angry. Because I work in a public school and the P.C. police are everywhere, I do gently correct students who slip and call me, “Mom”. Usually the kids calling me this get a good laugh out of it and we continue on… no big deal.
My job as an Aide, Para-Educator, (whatever we’re called nowdays, it varies) means that I work with small groups of students who have special needs or challenges. During the course of this past school year the students I work with have grown used to being around me. They know my expectations, which are quite high, and they work hard. Lately, one of the students has become so comfortable around me that he sometimes forgets to call me “Mrs. Xxxxxxx”, instead, he calls me “Grandma”. GRANDMA! Oh holy! He isn’t being disrespectful, it just slips out. When did I skip demographics and move from “Mom” to “Grandma”? My ego is wounded. No amount of haircolor can undo that damage.