The Flower of Motherhood

by Sherry Riter in Memory

A gardenia

My favorite flower is a gardenia. Its fragrance is beyond description…

I can get one whiff of it’s fragrance in the air and immediately know that there is a gardenia nearby.

When I was young and living in Virginia, we had quite a few gardenia bushes in our yard. When they bloomed, my little nose stayed buried in its flowery petals. More times than I can remember, I would sniff up a gnat or pollen. Nothing stopped me.

Now it has become the joke that I will take a petal, sniff really hard and cause the suction to keep the petal covering my nostril.

I know…I’m crazy.

If I am “out” and find a bush covered with fragrant blooming gardenia flowers, Alyssa will immediately say, “DON’T embarrass me.”

What makes her say such a thing?

One day Alyssa and I were in Home Depot looking at EVERYTHING. I could spend a day in that store and I don’t even like shopping. We eventually made our way to the garden supplies and what to my amazement did we find?

Gardenia bushes!

I need to interject that the store was empty. I know that is unusual, but really, no one was around. So I found a fallen petal on the concrete and held it up to my nose.

It is like the drug they give you before you go into surgery. Everything feels right and I feel rather “floaty.”

Then the imp takes over and I look at Alyssa who is glaring at me and daring me to act out of line. Sometimes she can be so old.

I couldn’t help myself. I sniffed really hard and the petal covered my nostril hole.

I smiled big and kept sniffing while wiggling my booty as if I could really dance. Alyssa furrowed her brow and sternly said, “Mo-om!”

I just kept on acting silly and trying to “make a moment” with my child.

Her face was turning red. I didn’t know if it was from anger or embarrassment. No one was in the store so surely it couldn’t be embarrassment.

Or could it?

I took the petal off my nose and turned around.

There stood an older gentlemen staring at me like I was an alien.

I’m sure I blushed, but then I thought…

What the heck! I created “a moment” with Alyssa…one she won’t soon forget. A moment when she sees me as not just her mom, but as a woman.

Just as she started out like a gardenia bud, she is blooming into a beautiful young woman…

Alyssa smelling flowersAlyssa by the riverAlyssa at a restaurant on ther 16th birthdayAlyssa at her 2009 10th grade prom

Some day she will be sniffing petals in the middle of Home Depot while embarrassing her children.

I heard that…Yes you will!


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MelRoXx August 15, 2009 at 7:35 am

I agree with you, I like that flower too!


2 Deva84 August 15, 2009 at 7:48 am

Thank you for stopping by!

You've got beautiful daughter!
I want to change my image now… and I want to have her hair! blond beautiful hair! Hopefully till the end of the year I will have it!



3 Equidae August 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

lovely post :)I can sniff a whif of that gorgeous smell from here 🙂 ahhhh it would be nice if i can have a couple of bushes back home but no place for them 🙁


4 Jeanette August 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm

My 24 year old just told me that he misses me and thinks I gave him a great childhood. Apparently he has forgotten all the times that I embarassed him….and there were plenty. I say embarass away…and you daughter is beautiful!


5 Amy August 15, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for stopping by from SITS. It was nice to have you. I loved this post. Your daughter is very pretty. I would be caught by the gerber daisies for hours.


6 AB HOME Interiors August 15, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Your daughter is stunning. I just planted gardenias in the front of my store. I love the smell as you enter the store. Its lovely!


7 Kimi August 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Your daughter is so pretty. Yes someday she will be the one embarrassing her own children. 🙂


8 Under the Influence August 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm

What a beauty – the flower and your daughter!


9 Navyvet August 16, 2009 at 2:20 am

Your daughter is beautiful and photogenic. I hope her countenance never changes. Her Mom is very talented, loving, and compassionate. Many wonderful memories are brought to mind when I read your blog.


10 Kristin August 16, 2009 at 2:38 am

I wore a silk one in my hair for my wedding. Ahhhhhhh memories. She is gorgeous btw!!


11 Kimberly August 16, 2009 at 3:59 am

I often feel the need to place a rose petal on my nose and just walk around like that 🙂


12 Shawn De Costa August 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I too agree with you. Very interesting blog buddy. I'm ubuntusl thanks


13 Frantic Holly August 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

How sweet!


14 Peterson Family August 17, 2009 at 12:36 am

I love gardenias too! And your daughter is beautiful!


15 shraddha@theselfloveproject August 17, 2009 at 5:44 am

awww…how sweet..


16 Sandy August 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

Your daugther is beyond lovely. I remember trying to grow gardenias when I was in my first apartment. They were not easy! But so worth it. The smell is wonderful.


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