I was visiting my childhood friend, now a mother, when dinner time arrived. She squirted ketchup onto her daughter’s plate and then her son’s. And then mine. I looked at it.
She immediately recognized her mistake and laughed. She knew I could squirt my own ketchup, she said, but she was just so used to doing it… She apologized (still laughing) for overstepping her role as “mother” by inadvertently mothering me.
Where my friend excelled is where many other women, such as Kathleen Parker in her column “Of pleasure and parenthood,” fail miserably. They overstep their role as mother by saying things, as Parker did, such as, “It’s hard to know for certain that one doesn’t want children. Many don’t, until they do.”