Today was one of those special days.
The ones without any snot or tears, where your kid runs bang on into a wall and instead of melting down like she usually does, she shrugs and sits until she stops feeling queasy and then joins in again.
The ones where moms come up to me at the park and say things like:
"That's the first time I've heard a parent say 'Watch out for the person behind you,' all day. Thank you."
"Why you got like four kids on you? Either the redheads or the Mexicans aren't yours."
"Do you have Mary Poppins pockets in your dress? Where are all those water bottles coming from?"
It's the kind of day where I notice how far Mexican culture has come, because there were four little boys in colored skinny pants and converse and that never would have flown fifteen years ago. When I smile because Abuelo still uses a bandana instead of a bandaid, and little Crystal realizes I can understand her 3 year old Spanish as she begs me to push her on the swing.
It's the kind of day when "Mom," slips out more than my name and I remember that the kids fall into this charade as much as I do. When we laugh and make brownies and lick the bowl and learn to crack eggs on our foreheads. It's when a king size bed seems too big for four people because we're all piled on top of each other.
It's when she's in the bath and I come in to check on her. "Are Mom and Dad home?" she asks.
"Yes," I smile.
"Oh," her brows are furrowed and she's thinking. She doesn't seem excited or ask if she can rush to greet them. "Will you wash my hair?" she asks instead.
"Sure," I murmur and she leans forward for me and we don't discuss it further. She knows I'll stay until she's tucked in bed.
Perhaps we've all grown too dependent. Perhaps my life is too entwined with theirs. Perhaps when they hold me and refuse to let go, or read the bedtime books with my voice bound in each page when I can't be there, it is a sign we should all pull back.
But I've taught them how to ride a bike, how to make a sandwich, how to properly eat whipped cream from the can, how to do a handstand and make it across the monkeybars. The time for pulling back passed eons ago.