Mama Stains


Thou shall never interrupt a mama taking a late night shower. Unless you’re sneaking in to quickly tell her how much you love her or to hand her some more of those fancy hotel shower soaps. Maybe you could let her know that you will have a glass of iced water or wine waiting for her, if she ever gets done. Perhaps when the hot water runs out. She may never leave the one-light bulb sanctuary because her babies are sleeping. And the shower feels amazing, more like a secluded waterfall in Hawaii.

She temporarily escapes. She’s got a lot of the day to process in there while she’s finally indulging in the seemingly small yet gigantic luxury of an uninterrupted shower. Do you hear that? Nothing but the water spraying down. Nobody’s fighting. Nobody’s whining. There’s no crying. And no child is potentially pulling the “go straight to the ER” card. Every child sleeps. For the moment, she can relax. Finally. Dare she shave her legs? Not with that rusty old razor.

It takes a while for her to scrub all of the day or maybe days off of her. The waffle batter, dirt, sweat, homemade slime, grass stains, slobber, snot, tears, blood, or ketchup leftover from lunch and dinner. There are a million other hidden ones too, those sneaky little hide and seek kid germs. They climbed, leapt, fell and hid on her throughout the day.

All of the Mama stains. That’s why she turns the shower water on so hot that she could probably fry chicken in there. Yum. Fried chicken sounds good. She’s got tough skin so she can handle the heat. It’s really nothing compared to the ups and downs and all of the in-betweens of a day of mothering a house full of little dependents. A tiny messy yet beautiful army of soldiers who can’t quite do anything without the mama’s help.

They’re the kind of dependents that exude a relentless passion and enthusiasm for life that spills over onto every little thing they do. Their love splatters, drips and clings onto the mama’s shoulders, hands, face, neck and hair. And of course her clothes too. All day long. Almost every new, seemingly impossible thing her little ones want to do requires her help. And that’s rather exhausting, but perfectly OK, now that her shower has started.

As the stains wash off of her, the mama briefly remembers that one day, when her babies are all grown, a long shower will go back to being a routine thing, not a waterfall in Hawaii. Not that big of a deal. And all of those mama stains will be packed up and gone. She knows she will miss the smears, smudges and spills that her body provided the most perfect canvas for.

One day, she will always be clean.

But that day is not today, so do a mama a favor and surprise her. Grab her towel or the one she forgot to take into the bathroom with her and sneak it into the dryer with the clothes she’s “re-fluffed” a million times today. Maybe take those out and fold them. Every loving, clean mama deserves a little warm towel hug, maybe even some extra care. Let her know that you appreciate her, mama stains and all.

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