“I think you’re a very good mama,” my husband says, touching the top of my head as he brushes by me to get something in another room.
He says it in passing. I don’t respond in time.
What he doesn’t know: At that moment, I am feeling like the biggest fattest failure of a mama. Frustrated with V for not being super appreciative of the watercolor paints I pulled down for her, trying not to reveal the edge in my voice when she dunks her entire hand into the cup of murky paint water again, redirecting her from painting on her dresser…again. Wondering why I can’t ever get her to eat, thinking for sure that her obsession with screen time is my fault. Wishing I could just disappear and go read somewhere. Do something that I’m good at.
I hear it echo in my head again. I think you’re a very good mama.
Seven words. Thrown out to me, and grasped onto like a lifeboat. Bestowed like charity.
I wonder if he knows how long I’ll hold onto them.
How long they’ll comfort me.