I was shopping for a dress a few days ago. She asked if I was buying a dress for something in particular and I said i was going to a conference. The sales woman peered in at Piper in her pram. Piper had temporarily forgotten how cranky she was with the whole shopping trip and was playing with the curtain in the fitting room.
‘Your first time away from her?’
‘No. I went to New York for two weeks. She’s a seasoned professional.’ I say it with some pride and some sorrow. And they mix into an ache that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The ache will be permanent, I suspect. The price of who I am as a mother and who I am as a person not always matching up or complimenting one another. Sometimes they argue. Sometimes they mumble their complaint and sometimes they roar their defiance. And sometimes they sit happily next to one another, enjoying the view. But they are not the same person.
And yet sometimes when one of them is lost and in the dark, the other one is able to shine a light and lead the way. In that respect, they are both mothers.