First, let me make it clear that I love my children with all of my heart. I have a wonderful family and I believe that I have been blessed with my two precious daughters. So, I am not writing this to complain. I just found this entire day to be amusing as it did not turn out to be the day I hoped it would be. And, next year, I think I would be happy not celebrating this special day as it would save me some grief. It’s the unfulfilled expectations of this day that I find disappointing. What I wish I could do is spend the day with my own mother hanging out in a hotel room somewhere sharing a bottle of wine and apologizing for all the strange Mother’s Day celebrations we must have had when I was a child. I appreciate my mother so much more since having my own children. I just wish I lived closer to her so I could really honor this woman who sacrificed so much for me.
On Mother’s Day, I enjoyed reading all of these Facebook posts of loving gestures: breakfasts in bed, chores completed, and the kids behaving like angels. My Mother’s Day wasn’t remotely like that, but I wouldn’t trade the amusement of my day for anything. Here is a rundown of my Mother’s Day experience this year. If you are a mom reading this, I am sure many of you can relate to how my day played out.
Mother’s Day Begins
9:30. I picked up my oldest daughter from a sleepover and I told her that we were going to the 11:30 mass. This is my favorite mass because it is late enough in the day that I am able to get my kids to church on time while also looking somewhat presentable. Normally, we can’t go to this mass because they have ballet at that time. And, since it was Mother’s Day, I was going to make sure we made it to the one I chose. This was met with the first argument of the day. I won the argument.
Mother’s Day Mass Service
11:30. I took the girls to mass and my husband, who was just getting back into town, met us there. Sandwiched between my two girls, I had each of them whispering things to me the entire mass. My oldest complained every two minutes that she was sick. This sudden illness was baffling since she was smiling when I picked her up from her friend’s house.
For the dialogue, I will refer to my oldest daughter as Old D. and my youngest as Young D. Here is the whispered dialogue which transpired throughout the mass:
Old D: I feel sick. I’m thirsty. Can I go get a drink?
Young D: (who exhibits emetophobia…a fear of vomiting) Did she say she was sick? Is she gonna puke?
Old D: I really need a drink. Is it an appropriate time to get one?
Me: If you want a drink, go get one.
Young D: (moving further away from her sister and me) Is she gonna puke? Tell me if you think she’s gonna puke. What if she gets me sick?
Me: She’s not sick. Be quiet and listen to the mass.
Old D: (madly gestures something to youngest)
Young D: (emphatically gestures and mouths something to oldest)
Old D: (finally leaves to get her drink of water)
Young D: Where did she go? Did she go to the bathroom to puke?
Me: She’s fine. Be quiet.
Old D: (comes back) I feel better now.
Young D:(By this time, she has moved a few feet down and is sharing a kneeler with another family. I think she may adopt them.): What did she say? Did she puke?
Me: She’s better now. She got a drink.
Throughout the entire mass, I wonder why we are there. Maybe we should have gone to the mass they wanted to attend since I didn’t hear a word the priest said.
The Ride Home from Church
12:30. Conversation in the car on the way home from mass.
Young D: What would you like to do for Mother’s Day?
Me: I would love to go hiking. We never go hiking because your dad and I are the only ones who like to go. Plus, it’s a beautiful day. I want to spend the time outside.
Old D: I can’t go. I have too much homework.
Young D: Why would you want to hike? All you are doing is just walking straight forward and nothing else. Boring!
Me: I love walking and it’s a beautiful day.
Old D: I don’t like hiking
Young D: I have a great idea for Mother’s Day. Why don’t we go to the park and you can watch me crawl across the monkey bars? That would be fun!
Me: It’s Mother’s Day and I don’t want to go to the park with a bunch of other children. It might be fun for you, but that is not sound like fun to me. I just want to hike. Maybe I’ll go by myself. (I’m thinking this sounds like a great idea.)
Young D: Why isn’t there a kid’s day to honor us?
Me: Every day is Kid’s Day. Every day we are doing things for you all day long.
The Special Hike
2:30. The Conversation before the hike.
Dad: Okay girls. Mom really wants to go for a hike. Let’s get ready to go. It’s Mother’s Day. You should at least do that for her.
Young D: Okay. Let’s go!
Old D: How long are we going to be gone? I can’t be gone long. I have homework. Can I just stay here?
Young D: I could stay here with her.
Dad: No, we’re all going. This is what your mom wants to do for Mother’s Day. Let’s spend time as a family.
3:30. The hike is going great! My oldest daughter is listening to music on her headphones, but at least she is physically present. About a half hour in….
Old D: You said we were only going to be gone for a half an hour. We need to get back. We’re going to be way over a half an hour.
We head back home.
What I Really Want
5:30. I realize that all I want to do is sit outside ALONE with a drink and my book. I sneak outside. In the meantime, my youngest has found me and keeps knocking and waving from the upstairs window. She doesn’t stop knocking until I wave to her. A few minutes later, she is knocking and waving again with more passion. The dog sees me and is barking from inside the house and jumping and pounding on the other window. This is not the most relaxing or productive way to read my book. I give up.
6:00. I decide I want to get pictures with my girls. I am always the one taking the photos so I don’t have any of myself. My husband asks them to get their nice dresses on so he can take the pictures. We go outside. My youngest is always up for a photo opportunity, but my oldest just frowns the entire time, making it clear that she does not want to get her picture taken. I end up with some cute photos with my youngest and some not-so-cute pictures with my oldest. Her arms are crossed and her face is pinched up into a sour unflattering expression. We all go inside to look at the photos. Even my oldest laughs at the faces she was making. These horrible photos end up being the bonding highlight of the day since we all find these pictures rather comical.
7:00. Conversation with my oldest.
Old D: I feel bad that I didn’t get a better picture with you. I want a better picture, but I still don’t want my photo taken.
Me: I’m not sure what that means, but I don’t think we can get a better picture if you don’t want your photo taken.
Old D: Don’t post those pictures of me on Facebook. They are embarrassing.
Me: (thinking) I wouldn’t dream of it. I’ll save them for your wedding someday.
Putting a Lid on Mother’s Day 2016
9:00. The house is almost quiet aside from the kids fighting with each other upstairs. As I read through the events and conversations of the day, I realize just how lucky I am. If this is all the drama in my life, I am blessed. I have two great kids, a wonderful husband, and more blessings than I could ever count. Plus, I have a wonderful mother who raised me to deal with these small mishaps and to be able to find nothing but the humor in them.
Still, I may ask to celebrate it differently next year.