I swore it would never be me.
When I was kid, my mom had a certain way in which she would…move about the house, shall we say. She’d pound from room to room, shut cupboard doors and the fridge with a bang, and, most famously, bend straight from the waist (legs apart and almost completely straight) to pick shit up off the floor, her rear end high – and most unattractively – in plain sight. We’d come eyeballs-to-butt with her on an almost daily basis.
In hindsight, it was really all about efficiency. But try telling that to a bunch of teenagers. My siblings and I used to crack up and make endless jokes about this. My Naani (Maternal Grandmother, bless her), who lived her life in a city called Khurja in India, used to crouch on the floor of the kitchen, knees up by her cheekbones, while she cooked. We called it the “Khurja Crouch.”
We were assholes.
Fast-forwarding to the present, I can deal with the extra tummy-flab. The hips that never quite went back to their normal circumference. Hell – I can even deal with the actual size of my posterior being bigger post-kiddles. Isn’t that like…huge now anyway? Pardon the pun. But I wasn’t prepared to one day find myself – and my bum – in the exact same position as my mom, the shock and dismay unfolding on my face mid-bend. Doing the exact same thing: Picking shit up. Constantly. I wasn’t prepared to remind myself of my own mother.
To add insult to this injury, every time I am caught bending over in this way by my almost-four-years-old son, he runs up behind me and quite literally slaps my ass with his hand before running away, to the hysterical cackles of my other son – 10-months, bored, and trapped in an Exer-saucer much of the day – who raptly watches this circus act unfold.
Let me be clear: There is nothing even remotely cute or sexy about this inevitable bend-over. I once tried to turn it into something that might have resembled appealing; sort of a bend-and-snap a la Elle Woods of Legally Blonde. Needless to say, I – and my neck – had far worse results than Jennifer Coolidge did. No, I’ve had to resign myself to a bend that invariably turns into more of a squat-and-scoop, a la Carrie Bradshaw shopping in Dior on Sex And The City. It’s a full-on Mom-Bend. There’s just no other term for it. I hunch and schlepp my way across my floors sometimes, miniature k-cars in my wake.
And I guess now I’m mostly okay with it. I wear – and hoist – my Mom-Bend with a sense of pride. Because although being a mom is super fun, it’s sometimes also about being unapologetically in the trenches. Literally. I think into every hardworking mom’s life a little uncouthness must fall. And I’m even okay seeing some of what I used to snigger at about my mom in me today. It is when we become parents ourselves that we realize in some ways, even if they are only small ways, apples truly don’t fall far from their trees.
I’m pretty sure my sons will be laughing at – and from – my behind one day soon enough though.
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