This was it. This was the big one. The question I had feared since I became a mother. My heart started to flutter, and the room began to spin. I felt like I would pass out right there on my own kitchen floor. Sofie, my 7 year old daughter was standing watching me make meatballs while she played with her own toy kitchen.
My sweet darling little girl looked up at me with her innocent brown eyes and asked the question I had been dreading since the day she was born. The question that all parents dread, “ Mommy, where do babies come from ?“
Mayday, Mayday, we are going down. They’re coming at us from all directions. The plane is on fire and my parachute isn’t working! I stood there for a moment trying to collect my thoughts and catch my breath. Could I tell her about the stork? Could I asked if she wanted a pony instead of giving an answer to this horrendous question? I had promised myself I would not be one of those mothers who lied about it. I wanted my daughter to feel like she could come to me with any question and get a genuine answer, but lying, felt exactly like what I should do. I had to think of something to tell her before my knees gave out.
Oh God, she’s still staring at me. Why don’t they make a handbook for the sort of thing? I could possibly be qualified to answer this question. Is there someone I can call a doctor, maybe a nun? No, it was just my daughter and me in that kitchen. It was German tanks versus the Polish soldiers on horseback. This would be a slaughter.
I wasn’t going to make it, but I couldn’t give up. I could hear Roosevelt’s voice my head, “ This is a day that will live in infamy.” OK, I can do this. Take no prisoners. Get in, get out and leave no man behind. I took a deep breath and said, “ Sofie, when a man and a woman love each other and want to have a baby.”
Oh God… I sound like an afterschool special. “the man put his penis in the woman’s vagina.” 0h sweet mother of all that is good and holy, she is laughing at me. I said the word penis and now she is giggling. Time to retreat. Get out of there soldier! “Nine months later baby is born. The end.”
She left me to go play somewhere else. I had done it. I was super mom. Victory was mine! I had stormed the beaches of Normandy and lived to tell about it. I must say I was pretty proud of myself. I started to pour myself a glass of wine to celebrate my achievement. They would write books about me someday. Future generations would call me the greatest mother the world had ever known. I could practically see the ticker tape parade welcoming me home a war hero.
Then, from somewhere at the other end of the house, like the thin eerie hum of the Luftwaffe as they descended over the streets of London, a dear little pixie voice called to me, “ Mommy, are you sure?”
Rebecca Alter is a stay-at-home mom and an occasional writer. A million thank you’s to my daughter for being such a hilarious muse.