I was listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper (radio host of the Splendid Table). on the radio. She had a guest on who was talking about kombucha, a fermented sweet tea. The fermentation process occurs via a community of microorganisms that are generated by a kombucha mother. As I understand it, every time you make a batch of kombucha you get another mother. The phrase that caught my attention was that some people who make kombucha at home have “more mothers than they know what to do with.”
I think that having more than one mother is a useful thing. No, I don’t mean you should replace me—I like to think I am complete irreplaceable—but following the “it takes a village to raise a child” principle, I think having different mother-type people around is very valuable. Sometimes the extra moms are aunts, sometimes they are grandmothers, sometimes they are neighbors, sometimes they are the mom of a friend; sometimes a teacher or a rabbi is a supplemental mom.
Extra moms are useful in that they know mom stuff without being your actual mother. You can ask a supplemental mom for advice and then (hopefully) not get questioned to the nth degree. You can hear words of wisdom from an extra mom in a way you can’t possibly hear them from your own mom (even if the words are exactly the same—perhaps especially if the words aren’t exactly the same).
If you happen to find another Mom Part II, or if you feel the desire to call one of the ones you already have, I think that’s great. Just remember that Mom Part I (the Original Mom) is still here for you whenever you need me.
Love you, kiddo,