Someday, when I’m old and senile, trying to remember if I’ve taken my fiber supplement and if today is pinochle day or bridge day, I hope I never forget these moments from Mother’s Day 2008, arranged birth-orderly by son:
The look of disappointment in your eyes as I walked in on you preparing breakfast in bed for me. We both knew that I’d spoiled the surprise but seemed to come to a silent agreement of “I know nothing!” as I yawned, stretched my arms, and loudly declared, “I’m still tired–I’m going back to bed!” The toast was more like warmed-up bread and the fact that I don’t like Raisin Bran wasn’t helped by the fact that it was Generic Raisin Bran–but still it was the sweetest breakfast I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I hadn’t taken my thyroid pill yet and I’m not supposed to eat for an hour after taking it–Neither protesting taste buds nor underactive thyroid would destroy #1’s moment to shine on Mother’s Day. No matter that you called me LAZY twice this week in a prepubescent haze of frustration. Today you are my little boy who just wanted to make Mommy happy. Mission accomplished.
Your adorable I’m-trying-not-to-smile pursed-lip half-smile as you handed me a paper sack and your husky voice said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I’d already eaten breakfast, courtesy of #1, but fortunately the second course of breakfast consisted only of a Special K breakfast bar, a packet of tea, and a picture of me, with my beautiful red pouty lips and brown yarn hair, in bed. Next came two more cards, thanks to a thoughtful and creative kindergarten teacher, and then another card “because I wanted to give you one that I made at home,” this one expressing love the best way that a 6-year-old can: “I love you more than God.” Someday, sweet boy, we’ll discuss that you should really love God MORE than Mommy, but for today, I will take that as my biggest compliment to date.
The aura of independence that surrounded you as you sat on the floor, late in the afternoon, trying to play a game of solitaire Cootie. How you studied that game board, trying to decide what to do and the look of intrigue as you realized the countless combinations of Cootie parts! Then came “Play with me, Mommy!” and I knew there was nothing that I’d rather do with my baby-who’s-no-longer-a-baby on Mother’s Day.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, people, in some ways it was still business as usual: I washed a blanket my dog had peed on in his crate; scrubbed a stock pot with spaghetti from 2 days ago; cleaned up #3 after he announced at the playground, “I’m poopy!”; dug 2 pairs of shoes, 2 magazines, one of my freelance style manuals, and a baseball out from under the couch after #1 and #2 had surprised me by “cleaning” the living room; said, “Well, I don’t feel sorry for you because I told you guys to stop because someone was going to get hurt” at least 14 times; and yelled, “Why are there 5 Tootsie Pop wrappers on the floor?”
BUT, I also spent a beautiful hour watching my three boys at the playground help one another climb up rock walls, race across “river stones” and play a retro game of hide-and-seek. And not one yell, one cry of, “Mom–he hit me!” or “It’s not fair–he won’t let me play!” Not one it’s-so-hard-to-be-the-youngest scream of frustration. Just a blue sky and a good day for being brothers. And a GREAT day for being the mother of brothers.
Thanks, boys, for a laid-back, around-the-house, remember-why-it’s-good-to-be-a-mommy Mother’s Day. From the words of #3: “I love you all the days.”