Have you ever had such an unexpectedly glorious moment in your life that you’ve bottled it up in your heart like a glittering tiny skyline in a delicate snowglobe, keeping it safe until you felt the urge to bask in its glory again, shaking that globe as sparkling flakes of wonder rush around inside it, filling you with joy once more?
I believe the year was 1998. After years of living with my family, then dorm mates, then roommates, I had moved into a little apartment in the basement of an old house just outside of Boston all by myself. Hours of sweat and dust bunnies coated me, so I went into the new-to-me bathroom, turned on the water, stripped down, and stepped into the shower. It took a minute or so for it to sink in, but when it did, the world stopped on its axis: I WAS SHOWERING ALL ALONE. No one was going to knock on my door, ask me to hurry up, wonder where I put something, tell me I was using up all the hot water, or come in and poo, stinking up the room before blasting me with coldness when they flushed. That wet rectangular oasis was all mine, for as long as I wanted.
Man. Those were the good old days.
Now I share a home (and bathroom time) with three people who think the sound of my foot stepping onto a shower mat is the signal to ask me how to fix a long-broken toy, require me to break up a stupid argument, or look at something I do not want to look at while I’m naked and wet and not wearing my eyeglasses. When I need to get back to those good old days of quiet, uninterrupted showers during which I relaxed, cleaned up, and rejuvenated myself, I go into Stealth Mode and hope for the best, but since I’m a mum now, there are certain things I can’t help but think once I’m in there.
And I’m guessing I’m not the only mum thinking these things.
1. For the love of all that is reasonable, please let them give me 10 Godforsaken minutes of uninterrupted time so I can wash their stank of cleat feet, spit-up, and handprint off of my person. Amen.
3. Shoot—was I supposed to bring 30 cupcakes to my kid’s class today? Or is that next week?
4. Seriously, do they drink my shampoo? Why can’t they drink their own damn shampoo?
5. Cripes, now my head is gonna smell like Technicolor bubblegum. Again.
6. Hehehe…the bottle farted.
7. I really hope I’m the only one who pees in here.
8. Does my belly look like a drippy melted candle stump from all angles, or just this one?
9. Meh. I could go another day or five without shaving my legs.
10. WOW that’s a long hair, considering it’s not on my head.
11. Hmm. I should get a pedicure this year.
12. BOOM. Now THAT is what I should have said to that nasty lady behind me in Starbucks yesterday when she was muttering about my kids under her breath.
13. Man, my voice sounds GREAT in here.
14. BREAD. That’s what I needed!
15. I need a notepad in here. And, well, everywhere else I ever go always.
16. I did not just hear the kids break something. I did not just hear the kids break something. I did not just hear the kids break something.
17. How does so much hair get stuck in my butt crack even though I wear pants and underwear all day long?
18. Why is there underwear in the bath toy bin? And my new lipstick? And a packet of crackers?
19. Who the hell do those Barbies think they are, looking at me like that? AT LEAST MY SCALP ISN’T MOLDY.
20. Welp, THAT was a refreshing six minutes.
21. Hey—where’d my towel go?