Parenting is just childhood on the other side of the mirror.
Her fears are reflected by the lines on my own face.
Her nightmares make my stomach queasy.
She gets in trouble; is upset; she cries. I can feel the hot flush of her embarrassment and shame on my own cheeks. I can recall countless times at her age that I got in trouble for similar things.
Ruby is five. Her first loose tooth. She spends all day proudly wiggling it, asking me to look, asking me endless questions: What if it falls out in my sleep? What if I eat it? What do I do? I can remember so clearly the anticipation of pain, the working and wiggling and sucking. The weird, warm, irony taste when it finally fell out. The hole it left that I couldn’t leave alone.
Someday she’ll be here, listening to her daughter go on in the backseat, remembering her first loose tooth and the odd, metallic taste of blood.