Every mother wishes for an hour to herself. One hour, without having to hear, "Mama, WAH!" or "Anne, can you...?" It's times like these where I stand up and do my Patrick Henry imitation: "Give me sanity or give me a straitjacket." Then I lock myself in the bathroom and ignore the waining and gnashing of teeth on the other side of the door.
I run the water in the tub ad light some lavender candles. Under the sink is my long-lost altar to sanity. Calgon bubbles, bath salts and oil beads are crammed into a tight space, next to the Band-Aids, Children's Grape Tylenol, Advil and chocolate-coated Ex-Lax. I select the unopened bottle of Peach Delight from Victoria's Secret. An unused momento of a previous Valentine's Day...who has time for romance, nowadays?
I pour a generous dollop under the running water and the aroma of sun-grown peaches fill the tiny bathroom. By the time I sink under the bubbles, I'm dreaming of cobbler and vanilla ice cream. I sigh in wonderful relief; a little slice of Heaven, even for just a little while. I think of nothing but the silky water caressing my skin. I am a slim, unfetter dolphin, skimming the foamy waves and looking for adventure. Then I'm an exotic Egyptian princess, floating in a lotus pool. I imagine servants waiting on me, hand-and-foot, tempting with with treats and playing the lyre. What a reversal from my ordinary life. I can indulge now and then, without guilt, can't I? I refuse to feel guilty.
The bath grows cold and I step out with great reluctance. I dry off with the fluffy white towel, delighting in how soft it feels. I apply another exotic lotion and slide into my jammies. Like a general, I feel ready to tackle the chaos in the trenches.
I still smell like peach cobbler.
All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010