Two a.m. rolls up on her like a tidal wave hitting the sandy shore. The child cries and screams until she opens her tired eyes and hurries groggily to soothe the infant. She falls asleep with the baby sprawled across her chest with a circle of drooled milk on her shirt. Exhausted, she carefully places the child back in her crib, careful not to stir her too much. She clumsily tip-toes out of the room, and slips back into her own bed, happy to get back to sleep.
It’s 5:45 a.m. and the alarm on her phones blares an annoying, high-pitched tone telling her that it’s time to start her day. She rubs her eyes, stretches, and checks her phone. Stiffly, she head to wake up the overly energetic 6-year-old and tells her it is time to get ready for school. After an hour of fighting, coaxing, and rushing the kid, they are finally ready to go to the bus stop. She is already overwhelmed from being tired, trying not to forget anything, and ensuring she remembered to have the child do her homework the night before.
When the bus arrives, her heart breaks a little. Not because her little girl is going off to school for the day, but because of the words that leaves the girl’s mouth as the bus comes to a stop – “Stop it, Mommy! It’s embarrassing when you kiss me in front of the bus!”
She smiles and waves at her daughter as she turns to climb the steps of the bus. When it finally pulls off, she slams her face into the palms of her hands and releases a few quiet sobs. She finally takes a deep breath, wipes the tears away, and pulls herself together.
Once she gets back to the house, the Infant is awake and ready to eat. She pics her up and the pain she felt at the bus stop was made better once those little arms wrapped around her neck and that tiny head layed on her shoulder.
Breakfast is served, eaten, and cleaned up. She puts the baby in the playroom so that she can take a few moments to sip her coffee and sit in her thoughts.
She continues her day – work, housework, bills, etc. At 4 p.m., she heads to the bus stop to pick up her daughter. She is excited to see the girl because she missed her all day. The excitement fades into more sadness when her daughter hops into the car and says, “Hurry up, Mommy! I have to pee!” She isn’t sad because her daughter has to pee, but because there was no hug, no “hello”, no nothing.
The rest of the night gets completed – dinner, homework, bedtime routine. At 8 o’clock, it is time to tuck the kids in.
She tells them it’s bedtime and follows them to their room. She first picks the baby up, hugs her for a long time, kisses her, and tells her she loves her. The she lays her down and gives her “cuppie” to her.
Next, she walks over to the 6-year-old’s bed. She tucks the blanket under her daughter’s sides and hands her stuffed animal to her. At last, the girl wraps her arms tightly around her neck. She says, “I love you so much, Mommy. Goodnight.” Then the girl kisses her and curls up in her bed.
That end-of-the-day moment, those goodnight hugs and kisses from her daughters is what she looks forward to every day. All of the exhaustion, heartache, and lack of free-time is all worth that one moment each night. She is no longer a servant, she is no longer an embarrassment. She is a super hero, a comforter, a mother.