The mother I want to be

 

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I want to be one of Mary Cassatt’s mothers. Or Rossetti’s St. Anne. Wise and tender. Luminous and lovely.

And my children’s earliest memories of me to be buried in a sunny haze like a bright and blurry impressionist painting.

But I’m wiry haired and red eyed. Can’t be helped by the most forgiving of filters. My cold, bitterly over steeped tea seems appropriately like a witch’s brew. The lullabies I come up with, flattened and sharpened out of shape as they are, probably sound violent to tiny ears. Too often I moan and wail as sleep regressions that can’t be helped are met with mood regressions that can be.

And then there’s the guilt as I let my attention be splintered and fractured. All my dreams of fashioning a golden childhood and gentle home lost to bright screens and loud noises. The guilt as a small face is awash in blue light at odd hours of the night.

But I continue to tap, swipe, type, and look away. Away from growing limbs and a blooming body and a bubbling font of smiles and coos. Joy unreserved. And undeserved by this mother enamored by those frozen prettily in paint.

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The mother I want to be

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