My mother had never been late for a concert. Preparations for each 7:30 performance began in the morning when she would hang her white “band” shirt like a basket of begonias on the front porch, where it could bleach in the best sun.
For so long, it’s been just us, my daughter and me, connected in a deep and frightening way I never anticipated when I adopted her, becoming a single parent.
I push myself away from the door and decide to load the dishwasher. Cup, cup, bowl, plate, bowl, knife, fork. Within three minutes, the cups and plates are at jaunty angles, some utensils point up and others down. Worry breeds messy efficiency.
She was born a stranger with purple wrinkly hands on a hot, August night. It’s hard to believe now, on this cool March evening, that I haven’t always known her. I know her rosy cheeks and the way her nose turns up a little at the end.
When the flutters inside me turn to more powerful kicks, I guide my husband’s hand to my stomach. Somehow, I feel that if I only tell him about our baby’s movements, they won’t be real to him. A father can never sense an unborn child as viscerally as a mother, but I want to help him connect as much as possible.
Everything about me was wrong in my new school. My hair was black, not blonde. My eyes were mud-colored brown, not blue or green, like shiny marbles.
We publish thoughtful pieces that take the experience of motherhood and use it as a jumping off point for exploring deeper issues of identity, relationship, family, politics, transformation, loss, and more. Have you written a compelling narrative with a fresh take on a common experience? Read more about submitting your work here.
Creative Nonfiction Archives