It won't last much longer, that stunned, mouth agape look I get sometimes when I announce that Helen is my daughter. Once the new friend is breathing again, the following comments are usually made:
You could be sisters!
You don't look old enough to have a child.
I'll bet you get this all the time, but you really look young.
I smile, reply with "It's genetic," or "I love what I do, and it keeps me young."
This assumption is irritating and pleasurable, like scratching the sole of an itchy foot. For Helen, it's just irritating. Sure, I'm flattered that people think I look so young, but I've also spent the past 17 years (I count gestation) wrapped up in the careful and delicate needlework of being a mother and raising a decent human being. Give me some credit.
How will I feel when the comments wane? I'll whine then too, because that's what I do best. Maybe that's why I seem so young.