Mamma said knock you out

My son has taken to calling me “Mamma.” He gets it from his West Virginian father, who to this day when he’s really revved up, has an accent. Unfortunately, no matter how cute they are when they say Mamma, it makes me fell like a very large, very old, black woman or a very skinny, very trailer trash, white woman. I’m not sure which. But either way, I’ve never been crazy about it. Maybe because I’m not southern. Sure, I pretend to be very Scarlett O’Hara…but really I’m as Midwest as they come. Beer drinking, bowling, fish-fry on a Friday night kinda gal. Yes, California living for 6 years now has softened my Canadian accent ( I am from Detroit, eh) and the only time I drink Molson these days is when the Kaiser brings it home as a joke. But my roots are my roots and I’m a “Mumma” NOT a “Mamma.”

What with hockey starting this week and my son’s preference for “Mamma” AND a Detroit-area wedding invitation I got in the mail recently, I’ve been a little homesick. I hesitate to call Michigan home, seeing as I haven’t lived there for 10 years now. But that hand shaped state has been on my mind a lot lately. And its got me wondering where home is for our transient society. Because I’m feeling a lot like a nomad lately.

Not many people live in the communities they were born and raised in anymore. Families are scattered. The Queen Mother is coming in from Florida next week. The Kaiser’s parents are still in WV. Grandfathers are in Kansas City. Brothers are in Germany. I guess home really is where the heart is…but half my heart is in Detroit.

I wonder what the Princess and Count will think of Michigan? Will they see it as they 7th circle of hell, like their father describes? Will they be as fond of the people, and FOOD, and communities as I am? Or will they simply see it as that odd place MAMMA makes us visit once every few years? Where everyone smokes and drinks and hunts and eats and eats and eats.

So as my son yells “Mamma! Mamma!” from the other room right now (the kid has a knack for timing), I think I’ll go call my Dad. We need to pick apart last night’s Red Wing game anyway. And while I’m at it I’ll put him on the phone with the Count…and have him say “Mumma” and “ha-aaaah-key” to him for awhile. Just in case.


  1. Well at least you’ll admit where you come from. My lips are sealed.

  2. Hmmm…I’m voting Kitchner? St. Catherine’s? Erin Mills? Ok, that’s all the Toronto area places I know.

  3. This Wisconsin girl…lives in the same house she grew up in…(bought from my parents) and lemme just say…somedays I’d like to be in California…

Speak Your Mind