I war against bitterness as a mother. The “bitters,” as I call them, are the Sirens always diverting a mother from the heroic journey of child raising. As a new phase of this epic unfolds, that of sending a daughter off to college, the “bitters” amplify, and resistance requires fresh calls for supernatural aid.
I remember: toddler days spent on the little patio that connected our small, two-story condominium with our garage; there was sidewalk chalk and playing kitchen. I remember her plump face giggling in her car seat through the lens of the review mirror, trying to make a joke and ending with: “I just choking mommy, I just choking!”
Her favorite, recited umpteen times a day was: “What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef!” I remember the fussing and crying every night at bath time—she hated having her hair shampooed; the blood-curdling scream the first time a fly landed on her arm. I remember tea time every day with Walker’s shortbread cookies. And I remember prayers and “Goodnight Moon” every night in the rocking chair. Every night: “Goodnight room, Goodnight moon, Goodnight cow jumping over the moon…”
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