On the phone with my Mom the other day, who is thrilled that we are coming to stay with her for six months, she called me “babe.” She does this infrequently, but always when I am upset about something. I was not upset the other day, it was just a regular conversation but that little “babe” thrown in commands an immediate reaction felt deep in my core. If I am in a not OK state and she calls me “babe” I will completely break down sobbing (I am not a crier!) I don’t know why but that word is the word that tugs at my heart and reduces me emotionally. With one word she tells me that she loves me more than anything ever, without even trying.
As we continue making memories with our six year old, I wonder what that trip wire word will be for him. He has so many names we can’t keep track; monkey, bubba, mansky and the man just to name a few. Although none seem to convey the sweetness of “babe” (getting all mushy when being called “monkey” could be far fetched), I’m thinking that it is not the word at all, it is the feeling that is behind it. The inflection, tone and emotion backing up that pet name, the ability to turn your grown child into, well, a child again. The power of the mother. I hope to wield it as well as my Mom continues to.