Monday, December 17, 2007

My brother from another mother

When I was six years old, my father (who had primary custody) went on a date with a woman and two weeks later married her. Married her in a church, no less. So that you may fully appreciate the scenario, you should know that the woman my father shared a basket of fried mushrooms at T.G.I.Fridays in Houston, Texas, during the height of the now infamous 1970's, had a son.

Soon after the wedding, I vaguely remember a family meeting being called and we all sat in the living room where my father gave one of his tense and somewhat stern speeches. The diatribe, in a nutshell, went like this. We are a family now. We don't need to burdened with titles like step and real. From now on, you need to call my new wife, mom.

Saturday, Hazel's brownie troop had a brunch. The what-to-brings were divided by first letter of your last name. J's were to bring fruit or salad. I picked up a bag of seasonal Clementines. Excellent choice, if I don't say so myself.

As Hazel and I stood in line, I struck up a conversation with the mommy behind me. I didn't recognize this woman. When she walked in to the brunch with a girl I knew from school, I assumed that she was an Aunt. But as we chatted, she quickly explained the situation. She stated that she was the bonus mom. She elaborated that I probably new the girl's tummy mom. But that she was the bonus mom.

Later, I told Erik about this newfangled name game. We discussed. It made me wonder if the forcefulness of the new titles that were thrust upon me at such a young age had anything to do with the ultimate demise and unraveling of the marriage ten years later. It made me wonder if we had some fun little phrase like brother from another mother in 1976, if he and my bonus mom would still be in my life today.

I first heard that phrase on the dynamic and thrilling saga that is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Who knew the show would be educational too.


Mary said...

My sister and I used to play a game called "Other Mothers" and then later, we got one: a stepmother! However, we were old enough that no undue trauma unfolded because of that, although trauma of various other sorts did fly. Good post!

zellmer said...

Tummy mommy.
Love it.

slouching mom said...

tummy mom?!

slouching mom said...

ps re your question -- i wish i had suggestions for you. i really don't know how it all came about!

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