Today, I became a mom.
Of course I’ve had other moments of mommyhood in the last 5 months – adrenaline surging through my veins, letting me know I’m capable of lifting a bus if my son were in danger, uncontrollable weepiness when anything sad is in the news regarding children. You know, the usual.
But today, I went to the grocery store with Bronson.
I hadn’t showered. My hair was a frizzy mess. My shirt was layered with snot and carrots. Bronson sat in the cart without his car seat. The seat belt gave him chest compressions, rather than lying nicely across his lap. He was surrounded by his overstuffed diaper bag and my reusable bags – he wasn’t going anywhere when I reached for the clementines. This was particularly helpful because my right hand was preoccupied by my long list. I clutched it, as if it would save me from my impending doom.
Something about the long car ride to the store and the uncomfortable cart seat – in aisle 3, it began. The sobbing. At first my finger, in the form of a teething stick, seemed to do the trick. We made it to aisle 4. Then Sofie squeaked him silent. We made it to aisle 5.
But in aisle 6, I realized – I was that mom. The disheveled, panicky mom with a crying baby that the whole store is attuned to. Every employee offered to help me. And in aisle 8, I considered harmonizing with Bronson’s sobs and having them announce over the intercom that a mom in aisle 8 had completely lost it, and she would continue to sob with her baby until someone volunteered to be her personal shopper.
Instead, I picked up extra ice cream.