On Being a Mother

Several days ago, while wandering around a store with Andy and Sophie, I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror. There was wet drool on my shoulder, dried spit-up on the front of my shirt and remnants of Sophie’s lunch—either carrots or sweet potatoes, I couldn’t remember which—on my jeans.

Just recently I did the classic use-my-spit-on-my-fingertip-to-wipe-her-messy-face maneuver I once told myself I’d never, ever do.

And on more than one occasion, when Sophie has had a runny nose, I’ve wiped her nose with my finger and then—not finding a tissue nearby—wiped my finger on my jeans.

I do these things and then think, What’s wrong with me? And then as a cry or a bark or a cell phone ringing or something else fights for my attention I quickly forget what I’ve just done and continue on my day, without caring, without regret, without changing shirts. Oh, how I’ve changed.

“Life can make you do many things, even kiss a man with a runny nose.” —Mikhail Kalashnikov