My moment, a chance to escape. I lock the door. My reprieve from the chaos. I make noises like the toilet seat lifting, hitting the tank. I drop my belt on the floor for a dramatic sound effect.
I pause in front of the mirror. I thought this expensive lighting was supposed to make me look good? Leaning in…there’s blackheads on my nose, especially on the side, those pores are full, some dry skin between my eyebrows and to the right side of my nose. My chin has patches of red, dry, flaky… The crows feet under my eyes are getting more pronounced. If I stretch my skin, does that help make them go away? No. The bags, I guess they are called, well they’re a little deeper and they’re starting to look like light blue bruises. Too many late nights getting caught up on work after the kids go to sleep. Bruises to my sleep schedule.
“Now that line is deep,” I think to myself as I fixate on the middle of my forehead. A horizontal indent runs almost the full length. My eyebrows are pretty wild and un-plucked. I don’t think they’ve been waxed in a couple months. I’m not entirely sure that I brushed my teeth this morning. Floss? Okay, I’ll do that right now. Ow, it’s been a while. Am I bleeding?
I think it’s been close to four, or three days since I’ve ventured outside, I’ve lost track. I remember…it was cloudy and snowing lightly. We went and got hot chocolate, it was the first day my daughter was home with the flu.
First, my son was sick, spent days with a runny nose and then my daughter went down with sickness and she went down hard. After three days her fever has finally broken and she’s laughing watching Netflix. Whew.
Since I work from home, I’ve been the primary caregiver on the front lines of germ-infested catastrophe.
Is that a white head by my hairline?, I’m just going give that a gentle squeeze. Yep, was a white head.
Ignore it… It will go away.
“Hey, I’m just pooping”.
“Mom I need you to be done because Mysticons is over.”
“Okay buddy, Be out in one sec!” I say.
“Mom, I need you now. I want a snack.”
I pick my belt back up, thread it through my jeans. One last look in the mirror. Once I get a shower and put on mascara, I’ll feel a lot better.
“Yes, dear?” I respond.
“Are you coming?”
I open the door and look down at the little smile facing up at me.
“Mom, you didn’t flush the toilet.”
This post originally appeared on Kathryn Anywhere. It has been reprinted with permission.