At this moment, I’m picking my 1-year-old up from daycare after a long day. He is dissatisfied with something or other and I’d really like to be able to help him, but I don’t know what he needs because he doesn’t speak English yet.
In just under five minutes, he will throw a fit over being offered a banana, but he will happily devour a graham cracker. I will feel a wave of guilt about eating so much bread during my pregnancy. A white hot bubbly feeling will move from my stomach up into my throat. I will stop to notice it, because if I don’t, it will join forces with all the other moments like this and will ambush me with shame at an inopportune moment. “It is just a graham cracker, it is not a lifetime of unhealthy eating,” I will tell myself.
As I breathe out, I come into the present and another feeling comes to me: joy. My son is now pridefully play-mopping the floor.