I used to be a waitress. I was really good at it. Perfectly mixing the friendly banter with spot on memory and seamless transitions. I loved every minute of it and waited tables long after I had landed a ‘real’ job and it was no longer financially necessary.

I had a brief go at bartending…but the penalty box feel of the bar was not for me. I liked to move. Dance from table to table while juggling beverages, condiments and buffalo wings.

Today, my daily mom duties often bring me back to those days…but not with ease I was once so fond of. Now I trip over a tiny wooden chair and step directly on a plastic tea cup while trying to fill sippy cups without burning the grilled cheese sizzling on the stove.

My memory that used to dazzle patrons is now clouded with to-do lists and diaper changes. My knowledge of fine food and wines has been replaced with nitrate free hot dog brands, half-caf coffee and which plastic stopper goes in each sippy cup.

Life certainly isn’t the same as it once was. My day is filled with bumps and tumbles and it’s not unusual for me to realize at the end of the day that I forgot to brush my hair…or my teeth.

Today Hazel was playing in her dollhouse. I overheard bits and pieces of her narrative….a mom taking care of her daughter. Showering the love and attention with brief breaks from time to time to go check an email or call Auntie Leah.

It takes my breath away when I see how much she loves me. I’m her hero. She wants to do things how I do them, she plays in my closet and tries on my shoes, picks clothes she thinks match mine. I dazzle her with my memory for how she likes her waffles cut, how I refill her ketchup pile before she asks and know just how she likes her hot chocolate.

I watched her, feeling my eyes get a little misty until I realized the nitrate-free hot dogs were burning and the dogs were crying at the door to go outside. Bugger.