I painted my daughter’s nails the other night. In our house, this is known as an “event.”
Picture eight-year-old Vivian with her hands in a kitchen sink filled with cold water, attempting to set the polish so it might last more than twenty minutes.
“Mom,” Vivian said, “I need to throw out my gum.”
The saliva-coated wad glistened between her teeth.
I paused from my current task, scrubbing fluorescent blue nail polish off the table. “And you want me to throw it out for you?”
“Viv,” I said, “collecting other people’s chewed gum is one of the grossest things ever.”
Vivian started re-chewing her gum. “That’s what being a mom is like,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked. I held a tissue under her mouth and she spat out her gum.
I continued, “Are you saying being a mom involves collecting kid’s things that are disgusting?”
She wiggled her fingers in the water.
“No,” she said. “Being a mom means making things seem harder than they are.”
What do you make harder than it is?