Mine indicates the following: I let my son play with tampons and Iím a candidate for the show Hoarders.
A couple of weeks ago, I went out to brunch with friends and we did that thing where everyone dumps out the contents of her purse. (Does anyone else do this? Iím assuming itís a common bonding experience, but let me know if Iím wrong.) Anyway, everyone elseís purse contained totally ordinary things: wallets, shiny cell phones, lip gloss, keys, maybe some loose change. Mine contained a half-eaten Nature Valley granola bar, a pacifier, a cracked-up iPhone, an unwrapped tampon with the string half-attached, a Lego man, and a faded coupon for something unidentifiable.
Ever have one of those moments when suddenly you realize: Oh, man, Iím a mom? As I watched the tampon slowly roll across the table and come to rest against my water glass, this was mine. (A note about the tampon: Andy found it in my bag, ripped it open, then pretended to conduct an orchestra with it. Should I be alarmed?)
This purse-dumping was a telling moment. The friends I was with are currently childless, and it was hard not to compare the contents of my bag with theirs and liken it to the state of my life versus theirs. My friends' lives: purposeful, streamlined, primarily devoted to their own desires. Mine: sticky, slightly disorderly, and filled with things that arenít even mine.
No, Iím not one of those people who thinks that having a kid automatically entitles me to excuses to be slovenly, messy, or too ďbusy.Ē I do not wear my mangy purse like a badge of honor, as a way to say, ďOh! Poor me! Iím so harried, I donít even have time to clean out my purse!Ē I do not think that my tampon orchestra party with Andrew is more important than my friendsí extracurricular activities. It was just a very visible mark of how much my life has changed over the past two years since Andrew was bornóthat I literally take him with me wherever I go.
Everything in the purse was somehow connected to him. The granola bar? His. The cracked-up iPhone? I broke it when I tripped entering his room in the dark. The Lego man? I hid it from him so he wouldnít choke on it. The coupon? Probably Gerber. The pacifier? No, not mine from a long-forgotten rave. And we already addressed the whole tampon thing.
Usually we realize the gravitas of parenthood in those big momentsóI knew I was a mom when I sobbed as my daughter left for Kindergarten, I knew I was a dad when I realized I didnít mind waking up in the night to feed my son, and so on. But parenthood is full of small, poignant moments, too. This was one. Lucky for me, it came with an iced coffee.
The author is solely responsible for the content.