In kindergarten, we begin learning about punctuation rules and uses. We quickly learn that a comma denotes a pause in a sentence. If I had realized the importance of using commas in my daily life as a mom, I would have used them much more often.
I could have used commas in my daily excursions. As I was driving from home to work to schools to ball practice to ballet lessons to friends' houses, I should have "comma-ed." As we rode in the car, we could have looked at the places we passed. We would have noted the spots where we could have contributed, such as a recycle center or a Goodwill center. We could have found places where we could have made someone's life a little better, such as a nursing home or a community center. We could have located new places to explore and enjoy as a family. We could have inserted a comma in our commute to make a difference in our world.
I could have used commas when discussing my children. Instead of saying, "I have three children, SamMaribethandMolly, I should have inserted more commas. I should have told something about each child - not necessarily their accomplishments, but something about them. I could have said, "Yes, I have three children - Sam, who writes; Maribeth, who hikes; and Molly, who cooks. By inserting a comma that causes me to think about their personalities, I would have discovered more about them as individuals.
I could have used commas when living that dual life as a mom and at the same time, a distinct human being. I would have comma-ed a 15-minute break every day where I did something just for me. Maybe it would be reading five pages of a book or magazine. Maybe it would be a 15-minute nap. Maybe it would be a 15-minute cry. But it would be my comma to remind me of my uniqueness and importance in the life that I lead.
I could have used more commas in simply experiencing the life of a mom. I should have comma-ed to watch and listen and feel those irreplaceable mom occurrences. I would have stopped and relished those moments that are unique in this mom life. I should have been late to that meeting or had sandwiches instead of the planned dinner, just so I could have enjoyed that moment that would never come again.
Mom-dom is busy and chaotic and unpredictable and breathtaking and amazing. By inserting more commas, we don't get an easier or more serene life - we just get the change to enjoy the irreplaceable and astonishing life we have.
About the Author:
Luanne Davidson is the proud mother of three adult children and wonders what might have been if she had done a thing or two differently. She writes her "Coulda, Woudla, Shoulda" column each Thursday.