I had 23 children this summer. I did not intend to! I tried to get my kids to call me Auntie Lou or something, since I am not a mother nor ever plan to be one. My kids didn’t care about that, and the name “Mama Lou” eventually stuck. Even the other leaders called me that. As a 41 year old, I must have seemed old enough to all of them to be Mama. The next oldest person, Abner, the other head leader, was/is only 24 himself! (Counting the other leaders, I guess I had 26 kids!)
I don’t FEEL old enough. But, since I tended their boo-boos, and gave them their medicines, and cooked for them, and hugged them and all that sort of thing, I suppose I was more motherly than I was auntly. While at first when the “Mama Lou” thing started, I kind of cringed, thinking that I would never like being called that!! I didn’t look forward to hearing THAT called out to me all summer.
BUT, eventually, I realized what a tremendous compliment I was being paid. Here were all these kids missing home, missing their moms, and they bestowed upon me the gift of letting me temporarily fill that position for them.
I miss my kids. I liked being a mama. Go figure.