I spend a decent amount of time in traffic as I commute to and from my job. Thankfully, it isn’t the legendary traffic of Atlanta, NYC or Washington DC, but I have my share of not moving. When stuck in traffic, I like to observe the cars around me. I have to say it. I’m not a fan of treating your car like it’s a family billboard. You’ll see no stick figures or flip flops on my car. No church memberships, honor student boasting or political affiliations. I find that display really distasteful for some reason.
Anyway, a few days ago, I saw a license plate that intrigued me. It said, “OtherMommy.” I looked, and there was only one pair of flip flops on the car. No angel flip flops or anything else to interpret the license plate. My imagination began to run wild. To what type of mother did the license plate refer? Was she a step mother? Was she in a same-sex relationship with her partner the biological parent to the children? Was she referring to her pets? Based on the fact that she had the lone pair of flip flops on her car, I believed that if she were in a position to claim the children legally or not or if they were pets, she would have tiny pairs of flip flops to represent them.
Maybe the plate meant that she was not considered a mother traditionally but still considered herself a mother. Based on my own sordid history, I began to consider whether she was a member of the ALI (adoption, loss, infertility) community. Were her children deceased? Again, if they were, would she have flip flops with halos? Or maybe she finds those as repulsive as I do, but she still wanted to honor her maternal relationship to them. Could she have been a successful egg donor, knowledgeable that the eggs she donated had resulted in living children for grateful couples? Perhaps she was a birth mother who had placed her child for adoption based on reasons known only to her. If so, the license plate suggested she was proud of that decision and firm in her belief it was the best thing to do. Thinking of our own situation, it’s slightly possible that she might be referring to surrogacy although I can’t think of many gestational surrogates who would refer to themselves in any way, shape or form as “mommy.” A traditional surrogate might.
OtherMommy. The one pair of flip flops on her car seemed lonely, yet the license plate suggested a fuller life. She was a mommy though not a traditional one. I can relate.
What are your ideas for what the license plate might mean?