My mind saw her today, carefully pulling hairs through the cap on her head. She wielded the blue hooked easily as my sister and I watched her from our seat on the top of the toilet. We talked to her, asked endless questions, and wrinkled our noses as she opened the bleaching agent.
If you had asked her, she would have said that she did not mind her two daughters watching her, not giving her any space to deal with her beauty routine. My mother never had much space nor alone time when her children were young.
She might admit now that she would have liked to highlight her dark blond hair without us watching. In this hypothetical conversation, I can hear her say, "Not that it bothered me. It was part of being a mother."
I saw her today as she was thirty years ago because I wanted some time, some space in which my children were not center stage or even in the wings of my own stage. I am the type of mother I am because of how she mothered us.