Today was one of the worst days of my life, and I mean that literally, not just in the sprayed hand sanitizer in my face and melted spatulas in pancakes kind of way.
Something happened to me that was so bad, I can’t even write what it was. Post-Secret kind of bad. Stuff nightmares are made of kind of bad. Humiliating, degrading, panicky, disorienting, embarrassing, horrific kind of bad.
And the very worst part is not that it happened — as bad as that was, which was very, very, very bad — but that it happened with both of my children at my side, as memory-emboldened witnesses, who will probably recall this incident well into their senile years, when they can tell my great-great-great-grandchildren about that Thing That Happened Once.
And that they will remember this incident for all of their lives is not the worst part of my children witnessing this awful, stupid, humiliating event: the worst of part is that one of them is two days shy of three years old.
Every moment of my life hereafter, I shall live in fear of her outing me.
It could happen at preschool in front of her teacher. It could happen at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It could happen among friends or strangers, people I love or people I loathe. It could happen in front of my boss or coworkers, on a playdate, in a restaurant, at the park. It could happen anytime, any place, from this moment on. “Remember that one time when Mom…”
She’s playing with stickers and tape right now, but just below the surface, she has a story to tell. A really, really bad story. Don’t ask her about it. Trust me, you do not want to know.