Today’s guest post comes from Sarah d’Evegnee, who has her MA in Literary Criticism from BYU and has taught English at BYU, UVU, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at BYU-Idaho. She is also a mother. When her two worlds inadvertently collide, she quotes Sesame Street in the classroom and deconstructs Dr Suess as she reads to her toddlers. The most important thing to know about Sarah is that she just celebrated the birth of her seventh child with a Cinco de Mayo c-section and is fittingly scheduled to bring the new bundle home on Mother’s Day. No angry letters to Mother’s Day this year–mostly because she and the baby get to stay home and soak in the joy of maternal bliss. Mother’s Day just as it should be.
Dear Mother’s Day,
Since you’re obviously female, I will talk to you like you’re one of the girls. I totally love you–you know that, right? So, as a friend, and only because I love you like a sister, let me share some things I hate about you.
1) You are always on a Sunday. Whose warped idea was that? I have three hours of church on Sunday. Husbands have meetings on Sunday and we are left to pioneerishly fend for ourselves in a ragged, harried, Sunday morning seizure of church preparations.
Sunday is the most difficult day to maintain an acceptable maternal disposition. Squishing and squeezing countless unyieldingly chubby appendages into tights and shoes and button-up shirts turns me into some twisted Mormon housewife version of Joan Crawford.
Crazy Sunday Mommy screams, “We’re NOT going to make it!. . . You just ATE your scriptures?. . . How did you get claw marks on your neck?. . . Get ready so we can go to church and learn about LOVE, DARN IT!!!!” in a freakish, shriekish, shaky pitch that isn’t heard any other day of the week! I am so nice on Tuesdays! Why can’t you be on a Tuesday?
2) I don’t like eating in bed. It’s where I sleep. The idea of crumbs in my bed conjures visions of millions of dust mites the Kirby Vacuum Dude described in surprisingly vivid detail coming for a picnic on my person.
3) In bed, wakefully waiting for breakfast, every minute of the wails of, “SHHHH! BE QUIET!!!! MOM’S SLEEPING!!!” is one more minute late we skulk in to church. I’m a terrible mother who can’t even be on time for church ON MOTHER’S DAY!!!
During my horizontal confinement today, I listen to my sweet husband yelling French curse words as he cooks breakfast with six sous-chef-children. Post breakfast, he guiltily rushes off to a meeting, and I’m forced to rabidly solo-speed-dunk the breakfast-coated kids.
5) My motherhood is a huge bulls-eye today, targeted by MAMMA-Razzi of the endearingly naive newlywed and/or charmingly critical elderly variety. If caught in the hallway at church with a misbehaving child on Mother’s Day, what kind of a mother must I be the rest of the year? It’s all part of my annual maternal report card.
6) Corsages. At church. It’s like some sort of Mom Prom. Under the Mamma-razzi’s stink-eye today, I must look especially put-together, fashionable yet modest, and just a little sassy. Nurturing, yet with-it. But I’ve been held hostage in my bed all morning, leaving me exactly one minute of prep-time! I arrive in a soggy up-do and the same outfit I wore on Friday to teach, and then again to the temple on Saturday. (Three days in a row. I’m awkwardly tardy and probably embarrassingly smelly. On Mother’s Day of all days! Have I no respect?)
7) I’m conflicted about you, Mother’s Day. I secretly LIKE getting a parting gift at church. I feel my neck actually craning to see what kind of loot I’m going to walk off with. It feels like Oprah.
However, because I love you like a sister, today I harnessed my hatred.
After berating my three-year-old for nearly clawing out his brother’s trachea this morning, flash-bath dunking him, and listening to him cry that he was a “Bad Boy” for five minutes, I hollered ‘TIME!” We had exactly fourteen minutes to be at church, in our seats, looking familialy fabulous.
I saw that adorably pouty kid sitting on the floor in his Sunday best, hair still wet from his dunking, and I gave up. My hair was shower-soggy. I was wearing my rainbow pants and my shirt housed more food than Chuck-a-Rama.
The church Mamma-razzi would pucker their perfectly lipsticked mouths and lower my maternal grade, but I was going to sit on the floor and I was going to love my boy. Mother’s Day on my terms.
On the wet floor, I hugged Peter tight and whispered to his curly little head, “No, Peter. You’re a good boy.” I sat with him as the seconds ticked by. I rocked him and held him close, knowing that those seconds in my arms counted more for him (and for me) than for the ladies at church or my report card.
Eric screeched in and saw me parked there in my pj’s not caring a bit. He helped get Marie dressed and sang to her about her shoes.
We snapped photo-ops. I touched Holden’s arm and noticed how tall he’s getting. I memorized the girls bounce-stepping in tandem, hand in hand, Eve calling Marie her “Little Pumpkin Pie.” I told them I was happy just to be with them, even if we were a few minutes late. And I meant it.
Twenty-four minutes late to church, I walked right up to the fifth row with my messy, drippy head held high and my hand in Peter’s.
Oh, how I love being a mother. It was my choice before I knew it was a choice. It is the reason I wake up in the morning, breakfast in bed or not.
I just HATE you, Mother’s Day. Nothing personal.
Love ya! ‘Preciate ya! Don’t tell ya enuf!