Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Five Senses of Motherhood

“Mom!” “I need help with math.” “What’s for dinner?” “Where’s my other shoe?” “Moooooom”. These are the daily, even overlapping sounds of motherhood. It sounds like life. The unstoppable giggling from inside jokes and the sounds of vacuuming with the background noise of piano practicing. Of the laundry machine eking out its final days  of its’ exis... “Mooooom!”. But mainly, it sounds like interruption.

I lean over to grab an errant strand of my daughter’s hair as she retches into the toilet bowl. Motherhood can smell disgusting. Especially in the middle of the night. It smells like Pinesol attempting to cover up whatever indescribable creature of stink is inhabiting the disposal. It smells like clean sheets sitting in a pile for days before they are folded. It smells like elmer’s glue drying on projects and onions sautéing in butter while I frantically decide what dinner will be. 

Motherhood looks like a crushed goldfish cracker, a pair of sunday shoes and a stuffed animal. And that is just in one square foot of floor. It looks like week-old daisies from my husband who truly appreciates my meager efforts. It is the dust glistening in the sun reminding me of a never-finished to-do list. But it is also the perfect face of a sleeping child, tucked away in blankets and sweet dreams.

It tastes like cut-off crusts of sandwiches and apple peels. Of cereal slightly soggy from above-mentioned interruptions. It tastes like Little Caeser’s $5 pizza too often to admit. Twice a year, on Mother’s day and my birthday, it tastes like pancakes drenched in syrup.

Motherhood feels like I am always one nap behind in life. It is the feel of my daughter’s hair entangled in my fingers as I braid it. At times it feels like a chasm of love and concern so deep I think it will break me. But mainly it feels like hugs. Literally and figuratively. A huge, enveloping, completely engulfing bear hug. I’ll take it. 

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