I’ve been a mother for thirteen Mother’s Days, and most of them have been crappy. Ed seemed to either be working or out of town for about five years in a row. The books he got me were never what I would have picked for myself. And the children acted like, well, children. I’d invariably go to bed on Mother’s Day feeling more frustrated and unappreciated than I did on any other day of the year. I dreamed of being one of those women who send their husbands and kids off to church and lie in bed all day reading or watching movies on Mother’s Day, or else one of the women whose families shower them with jewelry and dresses and breakfast in bed and perfect desserts.
In my house, neither one of those is going to happen. Not anytime soon, at least. I have five little kids, and a husband who, once again, had to work this year on Mother’s Day.
But this year was going to be different; I was determined to have a good Mother’s Day, no matter what.
I love cinnamon rolls, but the only way I was going to have anything other than Kashi cereal for breakfast was if I made it myself. So when Maren came into my room at 6:12, I gave her a snuggle, got her a drink and set out the cinnamon rolls to rise. Then I got back in bed and dozed while she made me cards.
But I didn’t stay in bed too late, because that would have forced us into a “rush around to get ready for church” situation, and those stress me out. I hopped in the shower, stripped the bed, and everyone was done with their cinnamon rolls and in the pew at church five minutes before church started.
I watched my oldest son pass the sacrament for the first time and tried my best to ignore when he picked a wedgie in front of the whole congregation. I watched my other boy sing to me with the Primary and didn’t let myself get hung up on the fact that my two girls were still in the bathroom when the kids started singing.
I giggled over the kids’ sweet cards, and told Isaac I’d be eating the M&Ms he gave me myself, thankyouverymuch (even though he offered to take them off my hands). I appreciated that my husband recognized that I like to bake and I’m a fan of Anna Quindlen, and overlooked the fact that her new memoir is actually about growing older and not about eating cake.
When I drove down to take the kids to celebrate the day with my mother-in-law, I reminded myself that I’d be getting a delicious meal that I didn’t have to make instead of lamenting that there’d be no nap and no chance to read the afternoon away.
As I made dinner, put the sheets back on our bed (I do love clean sheets), bathed the little girls, did the dishes, and rolled the garbage cans down to the curb, I reminded myself how lucky I am to have these little people to feed and clean up after.
And when my oldest daughter kept talking to me while we watched tv together and I tried to write this post, I forced myself to think about how glad I was that she still wanted to talk my ear off.
I wasn’t a saint today– there was that time in the car when the baby was crying, the kids were watching Megamind at full volume, someone in the back was whining for a drink, and my front-seat passenger was blasting music from my iPod when I threatened to turn the car around if they didn’t all shut their dang mouths, but for the first time in more than a decade of Mother’s Days, I was happy.