My First Name is Mama

A friend once told me about a woman she knew, a traditional southern bell. Miss Bell would always introduce herself as Mrs. James Williams instead of using her first name. When asked why she used her husband’s name to identify herself, she replied, “How would anyone know who I am?”

I found this funny and kind of sad. To me, my personal identity and being known for my own accomplishments is everything. As a writer, I am trying to make a name for myself so my name is very important to me.

There is one exception to that. Legally and professionally, my first name is Judi… but around the Biscuit, my first name is actually Mama. It’s been my name since the Biscuit started talking. One of his first sentences was, “Mama, I happy.” It made my heart melt so I have always liked being called Mama. I am tickled that he still calls me Mama and will probably be sad when he switches to calling me Mom.

As the Biscuit got older, he became well known in the school community. Whenever we bumped into his peeps and their parents, they’d say to me, “Oh, you’re Biscuit’s mom.” So that was my name around town, Biscuit’s mom. It didn’t bother me… I was happy that the Biscuit was becoming his own person.

Now that the Biscuit is 10, he has become quite sassy. When he wants to ruffle my feathers, he calls me woman in retaliation for me sometimes calling him kid. That’s when I remind him that my name… is Mama.

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