Technology makes mothers out of us all
Editor's Note: Here at NolaVie we love our moms, so today we are giving publication to stories about moms or stories written by moms. And, there's a theme: Moms and technology. For Kelley Crawford, technology is a way for the most unconventional moms to take form.
It all started with the first text message my mother wrote me. It was jumbled, there was no punctation, and I could not stop laughing (see provided photo and the gratuitous "hahaha"). It was one of those times in life where you realize that your mother has become something other than your mom. The woman you turned to with tears, questions, smiles, and heartbreak is now asking you for help. It's not that mother and daughter roles reverse as daughters grow up, it's that the roles squirm around more. They lose their boundaries.
The same goes for sisters. Being the baby of the family, the responsibility of having kids never fell on me. Instead, it was my oldest sister, Lindsey, that everyone turned to and said, "So when are you two thinking of having babies?" Important note, this question was being asked the day my sister got engaged and throughout her marriage until she delivered the first of the prized grandkids. She has filled the role beautifully giving three spunky, absolutely adorable kids to the world. And here is the best part (all aunts know exactly what I'm going to say): it feels like I'm a kind of a mother to them.
Seeing my nephew Colin perform in the Christmas play as Joseph made me cry like...well, a mother. When I Skype with niece Lauren, I could not be more enthralled with every detail she tells me about her stuffed animals. And just this week my other nephew, Aiden, sent me Flat Stanley in the mail. For those of you who don't know, Flat Stanley is a character in a somewhat vicious children's story about a boy who gets flattened, and now he gets to travel the world and be sent through the mail. All possible psychological implications aside, it's a great project. Aiden and I get to talk and share photos, and we get to be involved in each others' lives like my sister gets to be every day. And this isn't only for sisters. My brother, Brad, sends me photos and videos of my niece, Nora, riding her little tractor or receiving the weird sparkle-nail-kit I thought might make a great addition to their clean, white couches.
My sister and brother have given me a glimpse into motherhood, and that glimmer often comes as a picture on my phone right when I wake up (because they've already been up for hours with the kids), starting my day with a pure smile.
Even more recently this world of technology has made me feel like a mother--proud, emotional, curious, and full of love--to my father. Hang in there, I'm not getting super Greek mythology on you. My stepmom, Debbie, sent me a photo just tonight of my dad feeding a squirrel. My dad, who has one of those green eggs and wants to smoke every meat that can be smoked. My dad, who says "Kelley is one of those 'vaygans'" when I pass up meat on the 4th of July. And there he was feeding this sweet, vulnerable, and eager squirrel. My heart exploded with love and pride.
So to my sister, my mother, my aunt, my cousin (my ya-yas), my sister-in-law, stepsister, stepmom, and everyone else who let's me feel warmth and excitement by sharing the moments in life when people find joy and wonder in the world, thank you for making me a mom in the most unconventional way. Happy Mother's Day, ya'll.
Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.