"Happy Mother's Day", my daughter said enthusiastically at exactly 7:13 this morning. She was so excited she couldn't wait for me to sit up in bed before presenting me with her present. It was a beautiful bracelet she had made at school out of beads made by Ugandan women from recycled paper. There was a handmade card, the best kind in my estimate, with a picture of the two of us. Then she sang me two songs. I love to hear her sweet little voice sing. She gave me a hug and a kiss and wished me a happy mother's day again.
It was all downhill from there.
Storms had kept me awake during the night. I was exhausted and kept thinking what a nice present it would be just to sleep in a little. She immediately began begging for TV, but it was early in the morning and I still had hope for the day. So I was strong and denied her the brain rot I'm convinced TV is. I'll get up in a little while I said, hoping to buy a little time.
"No Mommy! You can't get up. We have to get you breakfast in bed." She protested.
It was still pretty early in the morning. Daddy was in deep sleep mode and in the middle of a cleansing fast--i.e., in no mood to get someone else breakfast*. I thought wistfully of the bagels and cream cheese I had in the kitchen. Ummmmmm, that way the cream cheese gets melty when the bagel is toasted. Alas, it would be simple enough for me to make, but too difficult for my daughter to attempt unsupervised. You know, ovens, sharp knives and all. And there was no convincing my daughter it would be OK if I made my own breakfast. I finally had to pacify her by telling her I would put out the Cherrios and milk and she could make that bring a bowl up to me. The surprise would be WHEN she brought it up, (I tried to sell her). She could WAIT until mommy had been asleep for a little while and then surprise her. I had no sooner gotten back in bed when my daughter and the sloshing bowl of Cherrios came up the stairs. Wow, immediately. That is a surprise. Oh boy.
"I put something special in it" she said proudly. I was little worried and have to admit I prodded the bowl a little before eating to discover it was only a strawberry and honestly, a tasty addition. Once we drank the milk, (yes, she insisted on sharing the milk with me) there was no putting it off any longer. I had to get my wearing bones out of bed and go downstairs.
Milk and Cherrios were scattered everywhere. I hate waking up to a messy kitchen any day, but on mother's day it just seems cruel and ironic. I'd like to sleep in, wake up to a clean house, and get dressed for church without any drama. Instead I'm roused up way to early, forced fed Cherrios, and reduced to begging my daughter to stop obsessing about the robot dog in my closet that hasn't worked for 3 years and get dressed for @#$%&* church! But, I digress.
As I mopped up milk soaked cereal I noticed dishes and glasses from last nights snacks cluttering the counter and sink. I started to put them in the dishwasher but soon realized I couldn't. My daughter in her effort to be helpful on Mother's Day decided to actually run the dishwasher. Oh--light bulb--that's why she wanted me to take the lid off the dishwashing soap. So rather than interrupt the cycle and waste water, I ended up washing all the dishes by hand and placing them on the counter to dry while a near empty dishwasher ran it's wasteful course.
How is it a day that is meant to "Honor Mothers" somehow ends up being more work for Mothers? Like some sort of idiot I keep thinking to myself that I'm suppose to be getting some sort of break on this day. I mean, the flowers are nice, yes. The little handmade cards and gifts are darling.... but isn't it Mother's DAY, not Mother's 10 seconds of gift unwrapping?
Though-out the day that was meant to honer me I cleaned up an entire roll of toilet paper, a half a dozen lollypop sticks that were hidden behind a chair cushion, and an indescribable pile that seemed to consist mostly of paper, books, crumbs, and half eaten chocolate, (chocolate that was a gift to me from the church Elders, mind you). I had to listen to whining for TV and griping for desert. I also had to answer a blitzkrieg of questions while trying to listen to talks about Motherhood, retrieve my toothbrush from the floor twice, and swipe feet out of my face while trying to watch Donny Osmond, in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat." I mean, come on--it's Prince Donny Osmond. Have a little respect. Then to add insult in injury, when I mentioned that Donny and I were about the same age my daughter said, "No, Mommy he's young." Hump! I don't doubt it. He's never been on the receiving end of Mother's Day.
I kept thinking to myself , "I'm glad it's Mother's Day. I hate to think what it would be like if it weren't." I wondered if this same scenario were being played in neighborhoods all over America. Is there a Mother who is honestly having just a great day today?
I'll tell you whose having a great day today--my Mom. No more kids in the house. She woke up when she darned well pleased this morning and had a tidy and simple little breakfast of her choosing. She got dressed and prepared for church in peace and quiet. The only question she had to answer today was rhetorical. And, although I didn't get her the most elaborate gift in the world, I had sent her a nice little box of goodies that I'm sure she had fun rummaging through at her leisure. And then tonight, my brother and Dad are making her dinner--
Uh-oh, I hope they remember to clean the kitchen.
* Lest you think my husband a jerk, he had given a beautiful bouquet of Irises the day before. Their tight little buds opened beautifully by Sunday Morning. After 16 years of marriage, he knows just what I want on occasions such as this. There is nothing I love more than having fresh flowers in the house.