My first Mother’s Day didn’t go so well. I was pregnant out to here … and very ill. Looking for a lift, I knew that Sunday would bring gifts, cards and pampering. Not realizing the protocol for my special day, my husband (after I hinted strongly, ok, after I browbeat him to a conscious understanding of the importance of the impending event) ran out to Sears and bought me gifts — a mop and a broom. Granted we needed them, but not on that particular day.
Three years later I gladly spent the day tidying up with the mop and broom, singing mother songs to the baby in my womb. “Mommy and Daddy and Bud and Birkelbach and Mommy’s little baby,” I crooned.
Bud, my firstborn, and Birkelbach, the dachshund, loved hearing their names set to music. As we added babies and changed pets, I added lyrics and changed the music.
When the children started school, Mother’s Day assumed perhaps its highest ranking position. This was the time of unparalleled devotion to Mom, lavish displays of affection and gratitude, boastings of, “My mom’s prettier than your mom,” and, “My mom’s cookies are better than your mom’s.” In the land of macaroni necklaces I reigned supreme. I was Queen. I was invincible. I was a perfect 10.
The children were at their creative best. They made elaborate construction paper cards with hyperbolic sentiments printed in crayon with great care. If I had been a forward-thinking mother, I would have kept those cards close to me at all times – especially when the little cherubs became teenagers.
“Mom, you never let me do anything. You are so mean. Do you even care that I am the only one not going?”
“Read this,” Forward-thinking Mother would have said, holding out a card in his first grade printing.
“You R the bestest mom forevr! XOXOXO”
Or, “How come I have to do all the work around here? Nobody else’s mom makes them do slave labor.”
Forward-thinking Mother would have reached into her stash and handed him the coupon from third grade: “Good for helping you do anything you want me to do. Your loving son. XOXOXO”
Or, “You let them (the siblings) get away with murder! Why don’t they ever get grounded?”
Once again Forward-thinking Mother would have produced the note he penned at ten: “Dearest Mom, I know I’m not always good, but you always love me special. XOXOXO”
See what I mean? Forward-thinking Mother has her act together. Forward-thinking Mother has all the bases covered. Forward-thinking Mother is cookin’ with gas. Forward-thinking Mother lives on a Hollywood set just past Bailey’s Savings & Loan. But I can dream.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” — Ephesians 6:1-3