Writer's Workshop: A Mantra Worth Having.

It’s 8:45 on a Tuesday morning. I’m pawing desperately through the last clean laundry basket, flinging socks, underwear and bras behind me as I search for a clean pair of pants for Tori. When its gleaming white bottom glares back at me I admit defeat.

Reluctantly, I turn toward the discarded clothing pile by her changing table, pulling out a pair of navy blue capris. I give them the sniff test. They’re okay. Well, I think, taking a deep breath, she really only wore these for a half day…and we never left the house.

I glance up at the clock. It’s 8:53. Screw it. She’s wearing dirty pants today. Silently, I remind myself…

You’re the best mom she’s ever had.

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon. Tori is grabbing every object in her toy box and flinging them as far from her as she can. Eventually, she’s half buried in a toy mountain. She looks around her, squeals happily, and then starts putting them back in the box.

For a moment I watch, mouth gaping open. Then, realizing I need to record this momentous occasion – the birth of our savior, the child who cleans – I run to the kitchen for the video camera. Only it’s not where I thought it was. Precious seconds tick by as I search, finally locating it under a pile of clean clothing on the ironing board.

I race back to the living room. She’s not where I left her. In fact, she’s not in the room at all. I turn toward the stairs, my heart in my throat, just in time to see her reach for a step and miss, falling backwards in a heap.

Time slows as I run to scoop her up, fully expecting to see blood pouring from her head. But though she’s screaming loud enough to wake the dead, she’s fine. As I hold her close, kissing her hot, frown-wrinkled brow, I repeat…


You’re the best mom she’s ever had.

It’s a little after eight on a Thursday morning. Tori is sprawled across my lap, drinking a bottle. I’m curled around her, drinking in the sweet grassy smell of her hair. I play with her bare foot, still toasty from the footed jammies she wore to bed, marveling at the sheer size of it. It seems like just yesterday that I sat here with a days-old baby nestled in the crook of my elbow.

Tears prick at the back of my eyes, and for a moment I long for those slow, quiet mornings. Then she stirs, breaking me from my trance. She pulls herself up my body and grabs my nose. “Mama,” she says, grinning from ear to ear.

Grinning in return, I poke her in the nose. “Tori,” I reply. She giggles, her tongue peeking out between the gap in her teeth. “Mama,” she says again. I laugh and tickle her tummy until she melts into a puddle of laughter. Beaming, I congratulate myself…

You’re the best mom she’s ever had.

That’s my mantra, and I’m sticking to it. Now go visit Mama Kat and see what the other workshoppers have to say for themselves!

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