I returned home late last night from New York, so late that I didn’t get to spend any time with Leta as by that time she had been in bed for an hour. On Thursday morning when I left, I got up very early to shower and finish packing, and when Leta woke up I was in the middle of blowing my hair dry, something I do before I put my shirt on to avoid suffocating from the unbearable heat. When I went to get her out of her crib I only had on my underwear and bra, and when she sat up she literally did a double take. Before saying good morning or even demanding a chocolate pop tart she yelled, “YOU GOT NO CLOTHES ON!” And I promise you, this is not made up or an exaggeration in any way, she said it in an accent identical to that of a New York City cab driver, one who conjugates his verbs as if he were raised in the South.
I told her, yep, that’s right, no clothes, not yet, and as I leaned down to pick her up she recoiled. “PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON!” she said, covering her face with her hands, and let’s be honest here, there are only two explanations for a reaction so dramatic. One, this was a violation of her routine, and if there is anything as sacred as Mama’s Prozac, it’s Leta’s routine. I have not ever greeted her in the morning dressed like that, with so much bare skin exposed. Usually I am wearing one of her father’s many large white t-shirts, the one piece of clothing that allows me to get a good night’s sleep, but that morning I stormed into her room dressed pretty convincingly as an immodest whore.
Two, my naked body really is that hideous.
This morning she didn’t say anything, and after I brought her back into bed with us she lay next to me and remained silent for several minutes. And then in the middle of the early morning darkness she moved her hand so that it was touching my face and whispered, “You home, Mama?”
I was sincerely moved, and not just because it was obvious that she had overcome the terrifying image of my large floral panties.
I have much to talk about, but right now I’m going to go unpack and spend some time with my family.