Is it any coincidence that the word “moth” is inside the word “mother”? You don’t even have to scramble the letters around to find it: see? “moth”. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a moth as a four-winged chiefly night-flying insect, similar to the butterfly. That pretty much sums it up:
- "Four-winged”—don’t all mothers feel like they have four hands because they constantly do four things simultaneously, or at the very least that they should have four hands and how much easier life would be? Think about it: you don’t ever hear about an octopus who is a bad mother—mainly because she has eight hands (she is Super Mama!)
- “Chiefly”—Mom is chief. Dad might think he is, but that’s only because Mom lets him
- “Night”—up all night, need I say more?
- “Flying”—flying on a heady cocktail of triple espressos, stale Chips Ahoy cookies, and adrenalin (“Mom, come quick! Short is balancing on top of the fence, just like I taught him!”)
- “Similar to the butterfly”—apparently, Mom is not actually beautiful enough and sought after and revered like her precious step-sister The Butterfly to actually be a butterfly herself. No. She is a yucky moth. Mom may have, at one time, borne a slight resemblance to the stunningly gorgeous butterfly, but who the hell has that kind of time now? The evil paradox is: when you are very young and have tons of time on your hands, you look quite nice (because you are so young) and you waste all that time (because you have so much of it) BUT now that you are old and have zero time, you look bad (because you are old, Dummy) and you have zero time (because you are busy) and you could really really use just a tiny smidgen of that time to maybe make yourself look half-way presentable. Can I either have my youth back or my time back, please?
Another thing that moths have in common with mothers: they both like bright places. Moths: light-bulbs; mothers: Las Vegas (or Miami, or New York—obviously I mean on a solo vacation without kids). And it almost goes without saying that moths and mothers are both smart. If you could eat a cashmere sweater from J. Crew in a yummy shade of tangerine, wouldn’t you? You can hardly fault moths for showing off their excellent good taste. And by the way, are you familiar with the phrase “like a moth to flame”? I know exactly what that is referring to! Who doesn’t have latent pyromaniac tendencies hidden away in the closet (maybe next to last season’s cashmere) just waiting for the precise perfect opportunity to be exposed? But I digress. Back to the actual word “mother”—there are a lot of other great words hiding in “mother”. Words like “her”, “other”, and the all important “er” (as in, “er, did you say something to me? I wasn’t paying attention”). If you are adventurous and move the letters all around, you can discover new words, several of which relate to my life. Let’s study words like “home”, “Rome”, “toe”,“hot”, “met”, “rot”, “REM”, and “tome”:
- “home”—is where the heart is, and all that garbage. Yep, that defines the typical ideal mom.
- “Rome”—is where any sane woman would rather be (just ask Julia Roberts in “Eat Pray Love”)
- “toe”—what people are constantly stepping on (literally, children step on Mom all day long; figuratively, toes can be stepped on by husbands, nosy neighbors, mother-in-laws, frenemies, and innocent bystanders)
- “hot”—how Mom used to look when she was, you know, in her butterfly stage
- “met”—before she met her husband that is
- “rot”—and then her looks started to rot (sad, I know)
- “REM”—the kind of sleep that Mom remembers fondly, and misses terribly
- “tome”—what this simple essay is turning into
MOV (“Manic Obsessive Vitality”)