We’ve done this routine before. Mother’s Day. Smiles, flowers, breakfast in bed. And a few realities too. This is how it will play out tomorrow.
6 a.m. I hear Katie stirring. She is an early riser. She comes into my bed and snuggles and whispers “Happy Mother’s Day!” She is adorable. She’ll wake Brian and head downstairs to cook breakfast and bring it to me on a tray. She is good that way. Brian will pat my head and stumble downstairs after her.
6:45 a.m. Breakfast will arrive. I will pull off my sleep mask and reach for coffee. I wish for sleep. Just, sleep. And I marvel that despite all the wonderful things my husband can do in his career and life, he makes terrible toast. I remember when I was sick once, and I asked him to make me toast, and I got back this hard, brick like substance with a smoosh of butter in just the center, not spread out to all the sides. Toast is really an art. And no one makes better toast than my mom. Perfectly toasted, the butter married to every nook and cranny all the way up to the crust. Toasted but still soft that it isn’t overwhelming you with crumbs. Just looking at the toast would make you start feeling better.
7:15 a.m. I’ve eaten and put my sleep mask back on. I bet I can catch 40 minutes before we have to go to church. Because yes, I agreed to teach Sunday School on Mother’s Day. And yes, I’m part pagan. But the kids love me. And I’m nice, so this is what we do.
7:20 a.m. Katie checks on me to see if I want more breakfast. No. Just Sleep.
7:25 a.m. Brian checks on me to see if I want more coffee. No. Sleep Mask. Sleep.
7:30 a.m. The dogs check on me to see if I want to get up and feed them breakfast. FML.
7:35 a.m. I feed the dogs breakfast. Get myself some more coffee. Katie and Brian are watching a Myth Busters episode and insist I watch it. No. Sleep.
7:38 a.m. Myth Busters. Let’s kick the day off by blowing something up. Sigh.
8:00 a.m. Brian and I start waking Alex. This will take at least 45 minutes. He is 12 going on 16 and is in full ‘I can’t wake up in the morning’ mode. Seriously. We talk. We yell. We shake him. We take his covers. We blast music (mostly the Hamilton soundtrack as we are obsessed) and sing along. I turn up the sound on his alarm clock. I threaten. I leave. I storm back in. It’s great stuff.
9:45 a.m. How are we possibly late for church again? I wish they let you bring coffee into church. One hour and lots of craft glue for the Sunday School class later, we’re heading back home.
10:45 a.m. Cards. Presents, for me! Oh you shouldn’t have. What’d I get? Yay! For me!
11:00 a.m. OK, seriously, people, stop making a mess. We’re hosting Mother’s Day, which means I want this place cleaned up. No I don’t even care about upstairs. Stop taking your socks off and leaving them places. How can you be reading three books at one time – put the rest away. No you can’t leave your homework there to remind you that you have some. Put it away you have to remember it anyway no I’m not kidding and why is it not done already? Can you please put your pajamas in your room – why are they on the floor in the kitchen anyway?
1:00 p.m. One hour until guests arrive. Brian reminds me of the time I wrote Husbands Helping at the Holidays. Six different ways. Today he is making a pork butt on the Big Green Egg. Because that’s what every mom dreams of for Mother’s Day. Pork Butt.
2:00 p.m. 27 people arrive to celebrate Mother’s Day. I love them all. I love a gathering. Always. I’m pouring the special champagne and berries drink and thinking this is how we should spend every Sunday.
6:00 p.m. People are starting to leave. I’m finishing off the champagne. I start cleaning up by instinct. There is a chance that it might get cleaned up by the other humans who live in my house. There is also a chance that aliens could arrive and clean it up and then leave in peace.
7:30 p.m. I think I need a nap. I lie down in my bed, thinking 20 minutes will make me a new person.
7:35 p.m. Katie comes in to check on me. “Mom, do you need anything? Let me tuck you in”. She pats my head. Thank you. I love you. Truly. Now go away.
7:40 p.m. Alex comes in to check on me. Just kidding. “Mom can you approve the new app I want? It’s first-person shooter but we only kill zombies not people.” I actually think this is good practice for the real world in case we are ever overridden by a zombie apocalypse. Yes. I’ll approve it for you. Where’s dad? “He fell asleep on the couch. I didn’t want to wake him. I think he’s tired from working so hard today.”
8:00 p.m. The bedtime wars begin. My ten and twelve year old make their arguments complete with PowerPoint presentations about why they should be allowed to stay up til midnight. I look for leftover champagne in glasses people left around the house in hidden spots. Like the bathroom. You never know.
9:00 p.m. I am ready for bed. I get in my jammies and slide under the covers and find my iPad to search Pinterest for things I will never do. I half-listen to Brian arguing with the kids about getting in bed while they want to wrestle him. I drink Smart Water to make up for the champagne idea I had all day long. I love my humans. But they are exhausting. It amazes me that the amount of worry you can have as a parent never seems to cease. When they were babies I worried about SIDS, about autism. When they were toddlers racing around the house I worried about head trauma injuries. Grade school, reading levels. Middle school, social media, texting the wrong thing, oh lord we’ve learned about sex. The worry grows exponentially as their bodies grow into these lanky tall humans I barely recognize. My mom always told me the more kids you have the more love you have to share. That is true. Love grows. Worry grows. Frustration grows too. How lucky I am to have it all. Happy Mother’s Day.