May 09, 2010

Thoughts on this Mother's Day Thing

Today is Mother's Day, a Hallmark holiday. It's a holiday I have never truly embraced, but over the last few years it has begun to amuse me.

Over the last few years, as my boys' senses of humor have become more pronounced, their personalities more firmly in place, the holiday has taken on a different quality. No longer are they guided by Pre-school teachers making hand pictures out of noodles or heart pictures out of popsicle sticks and thumb prints.

And it's not that I didn't love those precious gifts. I saved EVERY SINGLE ONE, including the crazy paper hats that each boy made for me in Kindergarten, that we mothers wore to our 'Mother's Day Tea'. Nearly 2 feet in diameter, these hats take up a lot of space... made of white paper, and decorated by my sons with paint and tissue paper flowers, I suspect they will be buried with me... or least burned with me to add to my urn.

My obit might read: "And dear Mother was cremated with the three paper hats made by her three boys in Kindergarten. The ashes of Mother and her hats were scattered over Hadrian's Wall, a place she had hoped to hike, but never quite had the chance as she was always too busy selling hydrangeas or poinsettias as a band parent, balancing school treasury books, running marathons or half marathons for charities, running the money room at school festivals, putting on fashion shows for various organizations, acting as the loan roadie for a bass player at jazz band gigs, carting kids to music lessons, band concerts, lacrosse games, teaching math to her kids in the evenings, planning end of year band celebrations and award ceremonies, chaperoning field trips or trying to assist in keeping the F22 fleet flying to name a few things with which she was involved."

Yeah, guess what? When Bones graduates from high school, screw the HS gift for him, I'm buying myself a ticket to Great Britain and hiking Hadrian's Wall.

Back to my point, I loved the little gifts, having saved every last one of them, but since they are older, the gifts come from their own thought processes.

The cards have a funny edge to them. Sometimes the cards blare out some sort of whacked out song, like only Hoops and YoYo can do. Other times, the cards are just darn funny, with my boys adding their own dry wit at the end.

I have grown to absolutely LOVE flowers, something I always thought frivolous and stupid, and now make me so happy... flowers in my garden can make me smile for hours, and so they buy me flowers and chocolate and a charm for my bracelet. I know my boys and there are arguments about which charm will be bought.

I know this without having been there with them.

I can hear it, Bones: I like this one!

Mr. T: That one's stupid.

Ringo: Whatever.

Bones: No it's NOT! This one is GREAT! You just said that, Mr. T, because it was MY idea. If Ringo had said it, you'd be OK with it.

Mr. T: That's not true!

Bones: Yes it is!

And then someone would poke someone and a full on brawl would start unless my husband stepped up and physically separated them.

It's not uncommon for me to go grocery shopping and to find Mr. T on one side, and Bones on the other, with my mumbling under my breath, "Don't even LOOK at each other..."

Anyone who thought World Peace was starting in this family is sorely mistaken. If it was possible to have a nuclear arms race within a household, Mr. T and Bones would have thought of it.

They don't make breakfast in bed for me, Thank God nobody led them down that potentially awful path. I don't eat in bed. Blech. And surely I don't want them to try to fix me anything. I'll pass.

It's cards, candy, flowers, a small gift and lots of "I LOVE YOU!"s.

I'm content with that.

As I said, I find it amusing.

Recently in our paper a columnist wrote an article railing against Mother's Day, saying they wanted a full day where the mother truly had no worries, no balls in the air, no responsibilities, not stupid little gifts.

I read it with great interest, but with a HUGE disagreement.

A bit over nine years ago, I had three small children, ages 18 mo, 4 yr and 6 yr. My mother in law had just died and I was a frazzled mess. I was in a very very dark place. My husband one day threw his keys at me and said, "Get out. Go to the Mall. Go shopping. Go to the bookstore. Get out of this house and don't come back for a few hours."

I threw the car keys back at him and said, "I'm taking my mini-van, for if I don't see baby seats in the backseat, I'm not coming back. I'll take I-95N to Maine and then take the ferry to Nova Scotia and never look back."

And that's how I feel about this thought about one whole day where someone else is picking up 100% of the slack, where I would have no balls in the air, no worries about who is doing what to whom, or who needs to get where at what time, or what homework needs to be completed by Monday.

If someone were to pick up all that goes on in my day, for one whole day, I might never come back. If I were alleviated of all responsibilities... for an entire day... I might say "Are you frickin' kidding me? I've tasted the good life I'm DONE!" and
walk when it came time to pick back up.

It's better the way it is. Tell me you love me, give me flowers and candy, write witty things in your card, and let me continue on with my life.

In 7 years and 1 month they'll all be out of high school and will be leaving my home.

I can pretend it's Perpetual Mother's Day then.

But for now... keep it status quo.

Otherwise... I might not come back....

Posted by Boudicca at May 9, 2010 03:59 PM

They'd find you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by: Jean at May 9, 2010 09:56 PM

Bou ... Mine tested my patience today. All of them!!! Fortunately, their father was a model citizen.

I want do overs!

Posted by: PeggyU at May 10, 2010 02:46 AM

Happy Mother's day (a wee bit late). Yaa, hubby offered to take the kids off and leave the house to myself. I changed that to a bike ride with the whole family. Much more fun!

Posted by: vw bug at May 10, 2010 04:40 AM

I know what you mean about not coming's good to be wanted, but o vey!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at May 10, 2010 04:10 PM

In 7 years and 1 month they'll all be out of high school and will be leaving my home.

Heh. You hope. You may find that "leaving my home" does not necessarily automatically follow from "out of high school". If they join the military and go active duty, sure. If they go to college you may find them coming back home for a while. My daughter stayed in Boston, but my son moved back home for about a year. He's moving out now, having gotten a professional job, mind you.

Posted by: RonF at May 10, 2010 04:40 PM

"They'd find you" bwhahahahaha!

Posted by: Bou at May 10, 2010 10:27 PM

Nova Scotia-bridges. Newfoundland-ferry.

She asked if I would mind looking after our daughter while she went shopping. Ha! Me and the little one were enjoying a post baptism high.

And when you think about it, Jean's comments ring like a bell. They'd find you because they love you.

Posted by: Curtis at May 10, 2010 11:19 PM