Sunday afternoon I took Em aside and apologized for having a bit of meltdown. There had been a lot of tears in our house and she deserved some kind of explanation. “The worst part about being pregnant Em is that you are so tired all of the time. And you know how when you are tired you kind of cry a lot? About mostly nothing? Thanks for cheering me up, kiddo, but it really isn’t your responsibility to deal with me being a big baby.”
She thoughtfully explained how when you’re tired your eyes just make tons of tears and it isn’t your fault. “You’re not a big, fat baby, Mom, don’t even call yourself a big, fat baby.” In the spirit of melodrama only she and I can muster she had a few tears in the corners of her eyes for emphasis as she said it the second time.
“Hold up,” I stopped her. “I didn’t say I was a big, FAT , baby!!”
And we laughed. By then we were at the pool. She jumped out of the backseat grabbing her towel and said “I’ll carry this stuff, Mom” and she hugged me. “No matter what we always have a good time.”
Monday morning I was standing in the bathroom feeling just like my own mother when I said “Please return that hairbrush when you are finished. It is the only one I have left.”
It was Em’s first day of kindergarten but it could have just as easily been her first day of middle school. In the last few months she likes to get completely dressed, including doing her own hair in her room with the door closed so that there can be a satisfying and momentous reveal of her full ensemble. It is a moment I relish.
She took the hairbrush and went in to her room, closing the door. “Getting ready” can take any where from five to thirty minutes so I reminded her that she had a bus to catch this morning. As if it could possibly have slipped her mind.
I brushed my hair, put on make up, lamented the fact that my thighs rub together when I am pregnant, applied baby powder to said thighs. Paused, reflected on whether or not I might be ready to throw up, brushed my teeth. Put on my make up. She flung her door open.
She looked cute. And had on a new, to her, hair-do. A low side ponytail. “See this, mom? How it is like… down here? This is how you can make a side ponytail a little bit less… rock star, ya know?”
“Really? You know who wears her hair like that a lot?” She smiled and just laughed… “Are you trying to say I am NOT a rock star AND I am a big, fat baby?” I said.
She giggled all the way down the stairs until I couldn’t see her. But I know she was shaking her head. “You ARE a little bit of a rock star, Mom.”