She notices the dark eyes and wonder if it’s from yesterday’s make-up or if she’s really that tired.
The empty bed reflects in the mirror and it hurts to see, so she opens the door to the medicine cabinet so she doesn’t have to see it.
She sees the three tooth brushes in front of her, where there should be four. She closes the door.
She smiles a crooked smile when two happy faces appear, blocking her view of the empty un-made bed.
Sometimes the reflection is better than reality.
Tooth paste, onto three tooth brushes.
Warm water on a wash cloth, to wash away the dark.
Two shirtless boys spit toothpaste all over the sink.
The younger boy shoves his tooth brush back in his mouth.
She notices his crooked smile.
It’s just like hers.
The older boy in the mirror asks, “Mommy, what are we doing?”
“We’re brushing our teeth, Bubba.”
“No. Today. What are we doing today?”
“We’re cleaning. Ew. The kitchen and the living room. And maybe some laundry.”
“The floor? You can pick up my toys so I can vacuum?”
“Yes, Bubba. We can clean up the toys and you and Cade can take turns vacuuming.”
They drop their tooth brushes into the sink, and climb down as I finish brushing and waking up.
I put our toothbrushes away and the door clicks shut.
I see the reflection of the empty bed again and my heart falls.
The mirror proves that the dark circles are from tired.
It’s not something I can scrub away…
The boys are running and laughing and playing.
I think, It’s too early for this. Too early.
“Boys! Calm down! Be quiet!”
And then, I’m tackled by four arms at the knees…
They hold on tight and giggle.
“Got you, Mommy!”
Sometimes reality is better than the reflection…
Five Minute Friday: When I look in the mirror I see…