5 Superhero Traits All Moms Have
The superpowers you didn't know you had -- until you had a child
To think that my husband (to-be, at the time) once chased me around his apartment with a piece of raw chicken, coaxing me to touch it in a vain attempt at exposure therapy. (He'd just learned that I avoided the meat counter at the supermarket because the sight of those bloody, glistening cuts made me nauseous.) One word changed all that: rotavirus. Six months before the Attack of the Killer Bees, Eleanor had contracted a horrible case. Who knew a 20-pound human could lose so many bodily fluids and live? Who knew I'd unflinchingly cope with it? As one mom said, "No one ever told me that becoming a mother would at some point require me to cup my hand in front of my child's mouth in an attempt to capture as much vomit as possible and keep his clothes intact. And they certainly didn't tell me what to do with a handful once I had it."
And yet we find ourselves routinely managing situations right out of horror flicks -- the gushing blood, the bones bent at unnatural angles, the terrifying sound of a skull colliding with the metal interior of a refrigerator (don't ask me how that happened). A child's pain seems to trivialize a mother's own reactions, like the desire to gag.
How a sissy like me grew into this brave face, this quick-thinking calm, this comics-page courage, I'll never know. I'm just grateful these superpowers are there, clicking on in the nick of time. No phone booths or invisible planes necessary.
Parenting contributing editor and mom of four Paula Spencer is the author of Momfidence!