I got a Mother’s Day e-card. It was Stewie from Family Guy. “Mommy, mommy, mom, Lois mom, mom…I hope you get some peace, though it’s probably impossible.”
Peace and Mother’s Day are diametrically opposed. I let Declan stay up good and late the night before so he’d sleep in and let me write for Mother’s Day. He slept in a solid forty-two seconds later than usual.
“Can I sit on your lap so you can’t do any work?” It’s intentional sabotage. I give in. It’s Mother’s Day–time to appreciate my little boy. If he’s going to ruin my writing, I’ll take full advantage–time to fish for complements.
“Tell me the top ten things that make me an awesome Mom.”
“That’s stupid, Mom.” I persist. He relents. Five of the top ten had to do with me letting him watch a show, play a game, or eat extra junk food. The others were highly inappropriate boy things. I reject those for cause and demand five more about the nice things I do. He’s trying to wear me down so he escape this dumb activity–not one thing makes me seem amazing. It’s more like a LinkedIn job description for a head butler or servant.
“That’s enough of this, Mom. Let’s talk about Minecraft.” Finally–on to things that matter.
Grandma and Grandpa are visiting. They moved to Florida where the retired people go. They came up for a few days.
“Let’s make a card for Grandma,” I say. I haven’t bought one.
Declan refuses. “No, that’s your job. She’s your mom, you do it.” he says. “I have to make you a card.”
Turns out, he already did. He brought me gifts from school–a flower and two laminated scrolls with near perfect handwriting and compliments that are about me, not how I serve him. He hands me the flower. “You don’t deserve it, though, because you took away my computer.”
It’s true. I did. He was inappropriate on the bus again. “You lost the computer for being fresh. I deserve the flower.” We argue about my worthiness. I tell him I’m keeping the flower anyway and it’s lovely.
“It’s not. It’s ugly.” If Declan had a choice, he’d have made something with boogers or dirt. His teacher made him choose something nice and momlike.
I’m feeling both appreciative and guilty. I never have my high school kids make Mother’s Day gifts. Elementary teachers are the best. I always get nice things–all the stuff Declan would never spend his own money to buy.
“I can’t buy you a present, Mom. I need to save for toys.”
Not only do elementary teachers give me thoughtful gifts, but thanks to them, I get the only hour of peace in my day before the bus comes down the road and hands him off as quickly as possible. I also get a kid who can magically read, write, and knows it’s “inappropriate” to talk about butts in public. Those are the best Mother’s Day gifts I could ask for.
Everyone in the house starts to wake up.
“Dad wants to take us out for breakfast for Mother’s Day,” says my mom. In a perfect day in this Normal Rockwell town, that’d be a great idea, but on Mother’s Day, it’ll be a nightmare of epic proportion after 6AM. Waiting for an open table for an hour with The Boy Who Can’t Be Tamed does not feel like peace at all.
So, I go out and buy bacon, which I do not eat, score some eggs from the farm, and we have a Mother’s Day brunch that can’t be beat. I do the grocery shopping and make sure there are snacks for the boy like a good servant/butler, and we all enjoy the rest of the day.
“It’s incredible how fast they grow,” Dad said the day before while looking at sixty years of family pictures.
I look at Declan, just old enough to be his own little person. I’ll blink and a thousand Mother’s Days will pass. He’ll be big. I’m sure Grandma and Grandpa are thinking the same thing about all of us.
No more time to ponder, though, a mother’s work is never done. There’s crud to wash off faces and boys to put into bed–just a little bit early, though, so I can enjoy a Mother’s Day cup of tea.
A special thank you to my mom, all kids, all the elementary teachers who make Mother’s Day fun, all the families that are appreciating Moms, and all the moms who are missing their little people, and all the moms who work hard through tough situations for their little people.