She is standing at the top of the stairs. I am about three steps below her. Her hair, once neatly combed and in a headband, has blossomed to a mass of a frizzy mess at the end of the day. She has her shirt on inside out…and backwards. One strap is in place. One is buried under her little arm. She put in on herself. She is screeching, screeching, an angry alarm. The screaming is not from injury or indignity. She has been caught and removed from the glitter in the craft room. The shrill exclamation is quite simply pure mad.
I watch her and all I think is I wish I had my video camera. One to show her when she complains about her kids, and two to record the fact that I love her just as much when she is screaming at the top of the stairs as I do when she is singing and dancing and being cute. I love her IN THIS MOMENT. When all her flaws are on display. I see the worst and would not change her or trade her for the world. I recognize the tantrum as two but the intensity as tired. And I temper my response. I stop what I was doing and start putting on jammies early.
I do not understand the bond I have with this child. It is not biological or cultural. We are different races and have opposite personalities. But our heart are tied together in an invisible bond that is unbreakable. I will defend her to any critic, knowing all her flaws. Protect her to the best of my ability. Attack all those who would do her harm. I know her moods and temperament. I can tell when she is nervous or tired. I translate the unique toddler language she speaks. As someone who has mothered several people, I am amazed at this bond, stronger and deeper than any other. She is mine, I am her mother.