Responsibility. Sometimes I get tired of being a mother. It's the responsibility. (Can you see the looks on some of my relative's faces? "Ha! I knew she'd never be able to pull it off, the flibbertygibbet." Of course, being all-American, all-Christian Midwesterners, nothing would be said. Nothing, not even, "How can I help?" Especially not that.)

It isn't the moment-by-moment responsibility. I don't get tired of changing diapers. I don't get tired of making sure the bebe is safe. I get tired, naturally enough, of not getting any deep sleep, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I can't get depressed. Not seriously depressed, just enough to make me wonder if every word that comes out of my mouth just the wrong thing to say. Just enough to make me paranoid that the people around me have problems with something I'm doing, but that they aren't telling me about them. Just enough to make me hate ever having wanted to be a wrtier--to lay down for a day or two and say, "I can't do this shit." Not the serious kind of depression where you want to kill yourself or wallow in misery for months, just the kind of thing where you want to whine a little, eat ice cream, and read a book you've read seven times before, preferably with a big blanket wrapped around yourself. A self-indulgent day. I can't do that. I have to be available, I have to be aware, I have to be responsible.

Most of the time I don't mind.

I think today will be better than yesterday. I had a good cry last night and some good sleep. Today that bebe and I have been commiserating. She's practically immobile in a fascinating world, you know, and she might be teething. And I'm her mother. She gowls, I growl. I type, she kicks the keyboard out of my lap.