by Denise Berger
For this Mother's Day, I got a gift. I was enjoying a nice family breakfast when I found out that a friend's daughter has LICE! I promptly checked my daughter; it didn't take long to find it on her. Immediately: full lock-down and chemical warfare! Even though our daughter was the only one to have these little perpetrators, we all loaded up on "RID" (yes, a pesticide), bagged up all of our decorative pillows, barbie clothes, stuffed animals and proceeded to line the hallway with anything and everything that could be laundered/dried on the hottest settings possible. As blankets, pillows, sheets, towels, clothes, bath mats and more piled up, I realized that our laundry machines will age by 10 years in this one week.
Vacuuming and spraying (yes, pesticide, again) the couches, rugs, floors, mother's day was neither happy nor relaxing. On the scale of things that are harmless (in the big picture), this is downright nasty and a real test to the resiliency of motherhood. Every corner needs to be cleaned and that doesn't even get into the part where you need to spend one-on-one quality time with your child (hours) "nit-picking" through her hair with a "fine-tooth comb". I won't be wondering where those expressions come from anymore! Forgot about the machines - I AGED!! How these little things survive - that, by the way, can't jump or fly, and don't survive off their human host for more than 24 hours but somehow manage to defy Darwin's survival-of-the-fittest theories and abound en masse globally - is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps we should study their powers!
As for me, I've spent my days searching through hair, by the strand, plucking the nits (the eggs) out. I have laundered and re-laundered. Bags of stuff are quietly in corners suffocating whatever might be stuck to the contents. Tea tree shampoos and new brushes and combs have been purchased. My daughter returned to school. For now the battle has been won. Mother's Day it was, that is for sure! Happy, it was not. But as I look forward with renewed vows to check hair daily, grease back into a ponytail for the rest of her childhood, I can't help but think, was I a bad mom for wishing that I was somehow at work on Mother's Day when we got that call?