Shriek with delight when you see Mom

Published 12:06 am Sunday, May 11, 2014

Next week, the Momma at our house will mark her 15-month anniversary of existence.

In that time, watching our daughter, Anna, develop a deep bond with Julie — and vice versa — has been among the best joys of my life.

Looking back at photographs from the day of Anna’s birth, it’s difficult to know who looked more concerned and worried — newborn or the parents.

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For months and months, Anna’s affection was only for her mom. Don’t get me wrong; she liked me fine as long as everything was going right in her mind.

But any kind of pain — either emotional or real — had only one solution in Anna’s mind: Momma.

Even when Anna learned what the word “kiss” meant, those were rare and special treats only given to Momma, and the occasional stuffed animal or page in a book. But never, under any circumstance should they be given to yours truly. Lately, a few exceptions have been made (I think I’m on good behavior at the moment).

With the tender affections, though Julie has had to endure a few annoying things, too. First, let’s talk about diapers. Unfortunately, since Julie has been staying at home with Anna full-time, she’s had more than her fair share of dirty diapers to change. I’ve not avoided them entirely, mind you, but the hours I’m at home versus Julie’s time with Anna means she’s gets stuck with more stinky things with which to deal.

Moms don’t get enough respect.

To add insult to injury, Anna — and apparently most other babies — learn to say “Dada” far faster than they say “Momma.”

That, too, makes logical sense. Dada comes and goes, and thus is constantly being waved bye to or welcomed home.

Learning to say Momma’s name just doesn’t seem necessary to Anna, it seems. She doesn’t need to say “Momma,” because Momma is just always there.

No need to call, a quick yell or cry and Momma is there.

Like many things in Anna’s life at the moment — air, shelter, food — Momma is a constant.

Moms don’t get enough respect.

Perhaps the most telling sign of their growing bond comes in Anna’s latest favorite game.

She loves when I walk out of the room and call her name. As she starts to come find me, I simply say (repeatedly), “I’m going to get you, Anna” and then come after her.

She shrieks with delight as she feverishly bobbles her way on somewhat unsteady legs trying to get back to the safety of Momma.

Saturday while Julie made a trip to the grocery store, I stayed home with Anna. Upon hearing the door open signaling Momma’s return, Anna dropped what she was doing and ran to the door, stopping immediately after recognizing Julie.

She screamed with delight, laughed loudly and then doubled over with happiness.

It was quite a hoot — but then again every day of parenthood seems to be filled with hoots, and the occasional toots.

It’s all in great fun, and we’re all massively blessed to have one another.

Though Anna cannot articulate it yet, I’ll help her this year, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best Mom in the world.”

Happy Mother’s Day, too, to all mothers this Sunday morning. Without you, none of us would be here. Thanks for all that you do.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or