Tabias lives with his Father and Step-Mother; he calls her mom. In this house, she is the mom.
She has young charisma but an old soul. She taught him how to braid a friendship bracelet for a girl at school he liked. Mom taught Tabias how to make cupcakes for the teacher. She showed him s’ mores from microwave and ice cream float made with Rootbeer. She taught him how to set up obstacle courses for fun and how to win board games without cheating.
Mom taught Tabias how to be a good friend.
His real mom lives nearby, always a phone call away. She likes to be called Mother and will talk for hours, about anything and everything. They stay up late talking about what they want in the future and what they remember from the past. When he visits her, they have movie marathons with old horrors like Hellraiser and throw popcorn at each other. They laugh, they play fight (she always wins), and they take long walks around the Solar System.
Mother has taught Tabias how to listen and communicate.
Tabias has an aunt. She’s Mother’s best friend. Her names Maci but insists Tabias call her Ma. They do weekly paper routes together, they collect pop bottles from schools and return them for fundraisers. Ma helps Tabias sell chocolate door to door and shows him how to make collections worthwhile. Such as stamp collections, Pokemon cards, and bottle caps.
She teaches Tabias the value of money and how to earn it. Cutting lawns, walking dogs, helping with groceries.
She is always there for Tabias, and she will always be there for him.
Ma has a daughter that’s several grades older than Tabias. She helps him with homework in exchange for iced coffee shakes.
When Tabias got grounded (because Sister cut her Barbie’s hair and Tabias decided Barbie didn’t need ahead at all), it was Ma’s daughter that covered for him. She talked Mom into letting him go bowling with her in exchange for extra chores.
It wasn’t about breaking the rules, and it was about learning boundaries and healthily pushing them. To be there for a friend, to finish a project, or to share a treat with a sad friend.
Temerarious Tabias learned how to balance his dangerous streak with a gentle, loving one. But it wasn’t just from one mother, and it was from three. More than that, it was from all the women in Tabias’ life that made him into what he is.
They are intertwined with each other. Because three minds are better than one, and they say it takes a village to raise a child.
Or three mothers to raise a boy.