The Mom Store
by Carrie CraftOnce upon a time there lived a little boy named Tommy. Tommy had a very hard time when he was little. His first mom didn’t know how to take care of him. She didn’t know how important it was to hold, rock, or feed him. She didn’t know that she was supposed to care for him when he cried. When Tommy was older, his first mom had an even tougher time being a mom. So the mom-finders had to find him a new mom, one that knew how to be a mom. It was very hard for him to leave his first mom, but after awhile Tommy was happy to be in his new family with his new mom. But it still was very difficult for him to trust her. Tommy was afraid to love her and get close to her.“I have a new mom,” said Tommy to himself one day, “But, what if she doesn’t do a good job taking care of me? What if the mom finders move me again? What if she doesn’t really love me or even like me?” Tommy had lots of questions. This isn’t surprising if you knew all that Tommy had been through. Stuff he had never told anybody. Stuff he didn’t think he would ever tell. But looking through the window of the store made the questions and doubts beat even stronger in his 12-year-old mind.“The Mom Store” sign was bright red with flashing lights, and very difficult to miss. “I’ll go inside and take a look around.” Tommy thought. “What could it hurt? I’m just checking things out.”Tommy walked through the doors and was immediately overwhelmed with all the different choices before him. He never knew that there were so many different kinds of moms. Each aisle of the store had many different women standing on shelves, each with her own label-- Sporty Mom, Huggy Mom, Musical Mom-- so many moms of all different races and faces. Tommy could hardly keep from bursting with excitement. How would he know which mom would be the best one for him? Tommy had to figure out a way to choose the best mom. He grabbed a cart and walked down aisle one.There he stood in front of a very pretty mom in a pink dress. Her label very clearly stated “Ouchy Fixer Mom”. Tommy thought and thought, then came up with the perfect plan.Tommy grabbed his knee and started to limp up and down the aisle. Oh, my knee,” Tommy cried. “I fell off my bike! Owww, Owwweeeeee!" The pretty Ouchy Fixer Mom jumped off the shelf and ran to his attention. She gently placed a Harry Potter band-aid on his knee and kissed it. Tommy really liked this and put her in his shopping cart.“That felt so good! She really took care of my hurt! But maybe there is someone even better for me.”Tommy continued mom shopping. He came across the next aisle and down a few steps he found another interesting lady, The Knitting Mom.“How can I get her attention?” Tommy wondered out loud and quickly came up with a plan. He stood in front of her and started to shiver. “Oh I’m so cold!” Tommy shivered and stomped his feet. The lady jumped off the shelf and placed a knitted sweater on him and gave him a warm hug.“Perfect,” shouted Tommy. He never knew so many people could take such good care of him. But are these moms the best mom for him? Which should he choose? He then looked up and saw Good Cook Mom. Tommy really loved to eat. Tommy knew immediately how to get her attention. He grabbed his stomach and began to moan, “Oh, I’m so hungry. I am so hungry my tummy hurts!” The hefty woman in the white apron jumped off the shelf and fed Tommy homemade cookies and milk. Tommy quickly ate the treats and placed her in his shopping cart.The next aisle, aisle three, was not as brightly colored and had very little light. Then Tommy saw the moms and a cold chill ran throughout his body; Drug Addicted Mom, Hitting Mom, Alcoholic Mom, Ignoring Mom, Teen-age Mom. “Who would pick these ladies as moms?” Tommy was confused and frightened. He remembered his first mom, before the Mom Finders moved him. She was a lot like these moms he stood silently before. He wrapped his arms across his chest and felt like disappearing.“Children don’t pick their moms, Tommy.” It was the wise shopkeeper standing behind him. Tommy jumped at his words. He thought he had been alone. “I pick the moms for each child. Some mom’s are better than others. Some children are stronger than others.”“That’s not fair!” Tommy shouted as tears began to form in the corners of his brown eyes. “Why couldn’t my first mom be like one of the mommies in the other aisles? Why did I have to have a first mom from this aisle?” Tommy was angry with the shopkeeper.“It isn’t fair, Tommy, I agree with you.”“Then why does it have to be this way? I know what kind of a mom I want. I know what is best for me!”“Do you really?” The shopkeeper eyed his cart.“Yes, I do!” Tommy protested.“Then why do you have three moms in your cart and I know you also have a very good new mom at home? I picked her myself.” The shopkeeper looked down at Tommy with sympathetic eyes.Tommy turned away from the kindness and shrugged.My job is a very difficult one, Tommy. I know that my choice will be forever a part of the children born to the mommies I choose. That’s why I also get to choose the babies for all the mommies. I know that the babies born to the aisle three moms have to be very special and strong, like you. If I had chosen little Brittany that lives next door to you to be the baby to your first mom, she would not be the happy child she is today. I knew that you were strong, smart, and a very loving child. I knew that you could love more than one mommy but also know which mommy to trust and rely on. You don’t have to be raised by the mom that gave birth to you.”“You don’t? I guess I just don’t feel very special or strong. I just feel mad and confused.”“Don’t forget how smart you are and one day you will figure out all these feelings. Now tell me why you are in here today? I picked a very good new mom for you. One that fixed your ouches, buys you warm clothes, and cooks you excellent meals. You don’t need any of these moms that you have in your cart.”“I’m afraid to trust my new mom and that the mom finders will move me again!” Tommy started to cry.“The mom finders only come when the mommies are not doing their job, Tommy. I chose a very good mom for you, one that will always do her job, and one that loves you very much. When I told her who her child was going to be she was so happy she couldn’t wait to get home to meet you.”“Really?” Tommy had a hard time believing that anyone could love him that much.“I have a secret to tell you about this store, Tommy... about the mom’s on these shelves.”Tommy wiped the tears from his face and leaned in closer to the shopkeeper. “What?”“The moms on these shelves are not moms until I assign them a child. Until they are given a child of their very own they are just nice ladies. Any nice lady can fix any boo boo, knit any sweater, or bake cookies. But only moms can do these things with love and do these things everyday. And you don’t have to do anything to get this love Tommy! No trickery involved. No fake limping, no shivering, and no empty tummy! That’s the big difference Tommy, love. Moms are the ones to turn to when we need anything; they’re the ones with real love. You can’t buy that anywhere.”Tommy stared at the old man and suddenly understood. Slowly, his feelings started to make sense. He began to see how lucky he was to have a new mom that loved him.“Thank you, sir. I won’t ever forget about the love.” Tommy ran out of the store and all the way home to his new mom’s arms.There he got the best hug ever, one that was full of real love.