I Want My Mommy

On a recent Netflix special, comedian Kevin James talks about answering a middle-of-the-night distress call from his preschool daughter. Her reaction wasn’t quite what he had hoped for.

I want my mommy.
I don’t want you.
Go downstairs.

Since his job (and his gift) is to find the humour implicit in everyday interactions and to make it explicit, he takes us through the implications of this short speech.

I want my mommy.

Not, “I want mommy,” which would acknowledge that they both know this person and that he also has a relationship with her. No, that would give him some legitimacy here.

I don’t want you.

Just to be clear: My mommy. Not you.

Go downstairs.

And just so there can be no attempts at unauthorized substitutions of you for my mommy, let’s get a floor between us.

This clever unpacking of a short speech made me laugh. But it did more than that: It gave me a phrase for naming how I’m feeling these days. I want my mommy, too.

As I take nature photographs that she would have appreciated, I want her to see them and to, well, appreciate them.

As I finish knitting a shawl for any friend or family member, I want to knit one for her. She would have liked to have one, but I only took up knitting after she died.

As I visit interesting new places or return to old favourites, I want to share the stories with her.

And on it goes. It’s not a devastation; it’s not even an everyday heartache. I’m not a four-year-old in a darkened hallway: In May I’ll be 67. But in June it will be two years since my mother died, and some part of me still wants my mommy.



This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly, Laughing Frequently, Relationships and Behaviour and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I Want My Mommy

  1. Mary Gibson says:


  2. Marilyn Reynolds says:

    I’m not sure that feeling ever goes away. Something special about Mothers

  3. Judith Umbach says:

    The wanting is a form of fond memories and warm relationship. I hope you always want your Mommy. She was a great personality.

  4. Indeed, you are not the only one. However, in one sense we have what we know well enough to anticipate. And we have good reasons to anticipate that longed-for reunion.

  5. Jim Taylor says:

    I sometimes speculate that our natural desire for social contact starts with the connection with mommy that we can’t even remember, it was so early. Indeed, the closest possible connection with another person is not even being held in mommy’s arms, but being held in mommy’s womb.
    After our son’s death, we (Joan, our daughter, my father, and I) poured his ashes into the Salish Sea off Cortez Island. Each said a few words. Joan referred to loving him ever since she first felt him move inside her, and I realized that no matter how close I felt to my son, she had known him nine months longer than I had.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – I continue to be sorry for your loss, which is as “for ever” as our connection to our mothers.

  6. Lorna Shapiro says:

    I was searching for an old email and Gmail supplied, in error, the email I wrote you all in early April two years ago to say mom was experiencing extreme swelling in her legs that blood tests indicated were due to congestive heart failure. I’m experiencing the same emotions as you describe Isabel… and I know we are in the company of many who’ve lost a mom.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Lorna – Oh dear. A nasty blast from the past, to be sure. But yes, we’re not alone, also for sure.

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