The Scent of Mother’s Day

Oy. The things I’m seeing about Mother’s Day.

Maybe the problem is that we’ve tried to selectively apply a version of sainthood to motherhood. Or vice versa.

Now bear with me because I don’t know a lot about sainthood, and I don’t have an exhaustive understanding of motherhood in full, but “exhaustion” and “motherhood” are two words that, if I am ever turned into a school worksheet, will be included in the word bank.

Candles are involved in both sainthood and motherhood, especially this time of year, and I think Big Candle is trying to sell us on something a little rank. As are Big Bubble Bath, Big Pedicure, Big Buffet, and Big Five-Minute Power Naps.

Don’t get me wrong. I love most of those. Try to tear me away from a buffet and I will ruin your hairdo.

They want to offer us something utterly restorative in the time it takes to pumice off whatever barnacles have grown on our feet as we walk, run, crouch, wipe, shuttle, rescue, worry (oh, the worry!), and attend in every meaning of the word. A little something offered in lieu of an opportunity to tenderly and deeply dive into how wonderful and how hard it is. We get to trail our fingertips in “wonderful” and are told that the “hard” commentary is something private, something publicly unutterable unless you’re willing to, in the same breath, bring it back to the tonic chord: “I love my kids.” Amen.

Our expressions of depletion via devotion don’t mean we don’t love our kids.

Quite the opposite. Because why else would we do it?

It’s the love.

It’s the love.

It’s the love.

This love, though. It’s superhuman, and we’re only human, so we try to breathe a little without inhaling whatever Glade Plug-In aromatherapy means we’re adequate as long as we’re perfect.

It’s ok to have all sorts of words in your word bank.

Your kids are lucky to have you. We’re lucky you’re raising your kids.

You’re a good mom.

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