I won a contest. I had to choose a fragrance and write an essay. It was a whim. What fun, fun, fun!
I am good. Not that I have always been this way. I ate an entire bottle of baby aspirin when I was two. My mother found me happily savoring the last, tangy precursors to Sweet Tarts sitting on the powder pink tile floor of our bathroom in my Pepto Bismol pink footie pajamas covered in raspberry colored chicken pox spots. God, I loved baby aspirin.
My mother, however, knew what roughly fifty baby aspirin could do to twenty five pounds so she scooped me up in my pajamas and rushed me to the clinic and they strapped me to a gurney and flew into a room and shoved a clear plastic tube down my throat and pumped my stomach before I could even say, “Hey!”
When I was done, while I waited for my mother to finish talking to the doctor, a kindly nurse asked, ‘Do you have any brothers or sisters? A kitty or a dog?’ and even though I did indeed have a brother AND a sister and not one, but two kitties, I lied. I felt very grumpy and retaliatory so I said in a typical terrible two sort of way, ‘No.” I wasn’t very good that day.
Fast forward forty nine years. The other night, I found my mother who is now forgetful, fragile, elderly and living with me, sitting in her rose pink pajamas on the edge of her bed, sticking her fingers in a bottle of cherry baby aspirin after she has already had her daily allotment. Even though I am often weary of changing the sheets and making sure she is clean and dry and her hair is combed, suddenly I am back on the pink tile floor. I am two years old again and I see her as she was, young and strong and pretty. I remember the feeling of her heart pounding against my head and I recall how she drove like a maniac to the clinic to get my stomach pumped, how she raced into the building like an Olympian sprinter and made sure I would always be safe and sound.
I sat down next to her on the side of her bed and I realized she wasn’t much bigger than I was then. I scooped her bird bone body up against mine and gently took the aspirin out of her hands and kissed her on the forehead. Keeping her with me is the only option I have because she was such a good mom and now, I try to be a good daughter because it is a giant circle and it’s all good…