Here's a sample:
When I gave birth to my daughter on a frigid morning in December almost 20 years ago, I thought that meant I had become a mother. A baby to rock and coo to, that's what I'd wanted for so long. But it wasn't until a few days later that my transformation occurred. It happened when my own mother, who'd come to take care of us for awhile, walked out my my front door with my husband and said: "Give her a bath while I'm gone."
Now you have to know my mother to understand the power of these words. Take a bath, she was always telling me while I was growing up, and make it scalding. It'll serve to scrub away whatever ails you, be it headache, splinter, or broken heart.
She'd been right, of course. I'd even followed her advice not four days before. Tired of being swollen and perpetually in wait, I lowered my nineteen-months' pregnant body into a scalding tub and sat, knowing this was exactly what my mother would advise me to do. And believe me, it cured what ailed me and my baby. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, the baby who would be named Meredith told me it was time to come into the world.
A week later, when Mama handed my daughter over to me as she headed out the door, she knew full well that "Give her a bath," was code for me — her own baby girl — instructing me to take my place among the mothers of my family.
I heard the door slam behind me, then stared at the tiny pink form in my arms, realizing for the very first time that my mother would be going home soon, and this baby was mine to keep. I thought about not giving her a bath at all, just saying I did. I mean, she looked clean enough to me. But after 20 years of living under the roof of the master of bath giving, I knew full well she would find me out....