It happened, and then it was over.
There was nothing much to talk about, and I have mostly forgotten the details. The images are somehow fuzzy, remembered in strange slow motion, as if I am still distracted, surprised that I am in the center of the memory, rather than standing on the side, looking in.
It was a cloudy gray Sunday, late morning. I was in my Super-Mom role; my husband was at the library drinking coffee and reading educational philosophy (on Sundays, he assumes his Super-PhD-Man role), and I was in the park, with our three kids, and my cousin’s two daughters. When my cousin dropped off his girls, his nine year old ran off with my three year old, who promptly fell and skinned her knee and started crying; his seven year old ran off with my six year old, who fell off her scooter and started crying; and the baby started screaming for the swing. My cousin gave me a look. I smiled my Super-Mom smile, answering his unspoken ‘are you sure you can handle this’ question, told my girls to tough it out, and carried the baby over to the swing. And I was fine, and so were the kids, as long as I didn’t think too much about what could happen. I let the girls climb and swing high and jump off and pushed the “what-ifs” aside, because otherwise my husband couldn’t ever work on his PhD, and my cousin’s kids couldn’t slip seamlessly into our family, and that wasn’t the family I wanted.