She says "You're the best mom in the world." She means her world, of course, which is vastly different from the greater and lesser world around her. Nobody else would consider me the best mom; nobody else needs to (her brother excluded). When she says I'm the best, she means it. And I am.
Are there better moms? Most of them are. But other moms don't matter. There's something liberating about being held accountable only to the authority of my children. I don't have to worry about what others think and there's no need to curry the favor of strangers. When it comes to bestowing best mom status, only my children can do it.
I've never been the best at anything before; I wouldn't believe it if someone told me I was. There's just too much competition and I'm too realistic. But when The Boss says "You're the best," or when she narrows it down to "you're the best mom in the mom's club," or when she opens it back up again to "you're the best mom in the whole, wide world," I see that it's true. I could never be anything greater than what my four year old thinks I am.
Still, some of my realism's been passed down. Some of my sarcasm is evident in the eye-rolls that come more often now. The Boss has been honing a sense of irony since before she could put words to wit. She knows what I know. Every so often she speaks it beneath a cocked eyebrow and lit cheeks:
"You're the best mom I ever had."