Pixie Dust


The Blue Bulb
November 13, 2011, 5:05 pm
Filed under: family | Tags: , , ,

In the months that Lula spent inside my belly swimming knots into her cord, my brain played out myriad scenarios to help me practice not becoming my mother.

Some were easy lessons on what to avoid: A super wiggly kindergartner needs her hair done before school and you are exhausted from staying up all night scrubbing floors because the creek dog ate some chicken bones while on the lam after the backyard gate was left open yesterday.

How to handle it? Simple: Do not burn her forehead with the curling iron to teach her to sit still while you’re curling her hair. Who curls a kindergartner’s hair before school anyway?

The more difficult scenarios will take the rest of my days to sort out: How do you raise a daughter with an appreciation of fairy tales and happy endings while gifting her the ability to live independently of Prince Charming and weather, even welcome, the storms of life?

My mom will always struggle with deep, stinging bitterness over the implosion of her happily ever after, giving up on Prince Charming entirely and stubbornly refusing to step out into the sunshine. With all the manic scenario practice from gestation to first birthday, my husband surely worries where I’m going to land when the hormones begin to settle.

Along this winding path, one tiny, seemingly innocuous scenario slipped through the cracks. It first presented in the weeks after Lula was born, hoarding my focus and drowning out the chaos of survival parenting.

My frazzled husband tugged on his delicious curly locks and implored me to notice the beagle baying by the fireplace because a raccoon had taken residence in the chimney. When that failed he bribed me with plates of deliciousness, leading me by the hand to a table set with green chile tamale casserole in an attempt to break the spell.

These fleeting distractions pulled me away for only a few minutes at a time before the shadow caught me again.

It was for her own good.

I distinctly remember my mother inflicting this on my newborn sister all those years ago. Mom would grab the green gooey mass in one perfect shot and then soothe my sister with a reassuring, “All better now.”

Mine is an exact replica of the tool she used–the same blue bulb, so precise and swift. Even a pinky fingernail does the trick in a pinch. The big globby ones are the most satisfying and I’ll usually show her the results with pride. “See what Mommy got out of your nose?”

She’ll giggle as she steals the blue bulb from my hand, stick it in her nose, and hand it back to me with glee.

Maybe just this once, being like my mom is not so bad.