I’m convinced that if the mothership finally came to claim me (and in this instance I’m referring to the spa spaceship that gives free massages to mothers), my family would be left in darkness. Yes, a figurative darkness, in which they would miss me terribly while I was getting the best massage of my life by an alien with eight arms who resembled Tom Hiddleston, but also I mean an actual darkness because I’m fairly certain my husband and son wouldn’t be able to find the light switch.
They can’t find anything without me.
“Honey, have you seen my wallet?”
“Honey, have you seen my keys?”
“Mom, have you seen my wallet and my keys and my Batman costume?
All right, my son is 4 1/2, so I don’t really expect him to remember where he has left his dinosaur wallet or his set of oversized plastic keys. He was wearing his Batman costume while shouting about his missing wallet and plastic keys, so I might have to work with him on his memory skills before kindergarten. My husband, however, doesn’t have an excuse except that with my brain on full alert, his brain now has permission to be lazy.
Since becoming a mom, my noggin has become a steel trap of information, mainly of potential dangers to my child. I have a constant mental picture of everything in our house: things lying around on tables, floors and inside the microwave. But if you were to ask me to name the TV show I fell asleep to last night, I wouldn’t be able tell you a single plot point or name one celebrity starring in it. Ask me where my kid’s sock has fallen and my brain accesses the entire house to come up with, “It’s on the second step to the right.” I'm able to locate missing objects with the speed and accuracy of Siri finding the closest Starbucks.
There are days, though, that being this needed comes with a lot of pressure. It makes me nervous to leave the house for an extended amount of time.
Mostly, I’m happy to have this superpower that came with motherhood. To know that your son has left the smallest of his favorite Lego pieces on a kitchen chair and that you just happen to have seen your husband’s credit card in your purse is a true gift. As a mom (and wife), I’m needed, and I’m only too happy to help.
There are days, though, that being this needed comes with a lot of pressure. It makes me nervous to leave the house for an extended amount of time. What if they can’t find the kid’s shoes and he goes outside barefoot in the coldest of weather? What if he slips on that sock on stair No. 2? What if he sits on that tiny Lego piece? I feel justified in my worry because it seems like my family can’t even function for the five minutes when I sneak away for some private bathroom time:
“Mom, have you seen my shoes?”
“Honey, have you seen his shoes?”
Clearly, my family would be plunged in an eternal darkness without me, so I emerge too quickly from my bathroom vacation:
“Did you look everywhere?” I ask them both.
“Well,” my son starts, “we looked on the TV.”
“Why don’t you try your room?” I suggest, knowing that’s where they are.
Deep down, I know that neither of them will be able to have my super mom brain. Maybe if I start helping my son and husband look for things instead of telling them where they are, they'll remember to look first and then start finding them. Maybe then my brain will get a break and my body will get a massage—by Tom Hiddleston.
“Now, where are my glasses ...” I murmur to myself.
“They’re on your head!" my son shouts back.
Guess it’s already working.