All I was trying to do was pour my daughter her milk, just like any mother would — should — could. Only I couldn’t. I shouldn’t have even tried. I wouldn’t ever be able to be the mother my daughter thought I was. I was the mother who not only spilled the milk all over the table, but also all over her daughter. I was the mother who burst into tears and fell onto the couch in a ball of agony and self-recrimination. I was the mother who lay there crying while her daughter wiped up the milk, changed her clothes, and wiped off her arms.
And then my daughter came up to me with a warm, wet washcloth and started to wipe my tear-stained face. Then she brushed my hair back out of my eyes and said, “Mommy, could you pour me some more cereal? It tastes better when you do it.”