About four years ago for Passover, when Nathan and I had just gotten engaged, we went to visit my family abroad.
At the time my niece Ella was 6, and I adored her. I had always said that I never wanted to be a mother. I simply wasn’t maternal. I didn’t know how to cook or clean (still don’t). But more importantly I would never get on the floor and play pretend. I don’t have an imagination. I simply cannot/will not be silly. I just don’t have it in me. And that’s ok.
But my niece – well, she was the apple of my eye. I’d do *almost* anything for her. (Truth be told I’d take a bullet before playing pretend).
We were all hanging out one night before Seder and Ella was on the floor playing with her My Little Pony. She said “Auntie Bex, come play horsie”.
Sorry kid. Not happening. That ain’t me.
So everyone else played with her, including Nathan – not even family at the time.
Finally it was simply my turn. I didn’t fly 6000 miles to see her – to not spend quality time together.
So I did it. I got my ass off the comfy couch and got on the floor, glass of red in hand, obviously.
This would take liquid courage.
I had her horse. And she had…who the hell knows. And we played. She said stuff that wasn’t real (I hear this is called “pretending”). I tried to follow along. Then it was my turn to “pretend”. So my horse introduced itself to her doll/toy/character/whatever.
“Hi. I’m a horse. And I have glaucoma”.
This, my friends, was my first experience with pretend. And if it isn’t clear to you, it was clear to everyone in that room that night.
Fast forward. Marriage. Babies. The whole nine.
This brings me to today. And my brood. I have about 47 children now. And though I still don’t cook. And if you ask my adoring husband I sure as shit can’t clean. But. There was a shift. There had to be a shift. You see. When you have a million kids, something has to change.
Last night it happened. It took 25 months (some may say 38 years). But I did it. I pretended. How can I say no to my sweet good natured non temperamental perfect 2 year old, who doesn’t make me question become a mother every fucking day? Maybe it’s art mimicking life, I can’t say for sure. But what I do know is I got on the floor with my kid and there were no eye diseases involved.
We played pretend. Kind of.
If you ask me, I pretty much rock now. (And god knows, filled my quota).
PS – don’t let this robe fool you. I hadn’t showered in days at this point. I just had so much puke on me, I assumed terrycloth would be my safest bet. Super absorbent.