When Jason asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, I was vague. "I don't know." One moment I'd mention the zoo. The next moment I'd suggest Burgerville for lunch (and can I just say that now that we are in the hub of Burgerville-land, I know I will gain 20 pounds consuming their milkshakes. And fries. And Tillamook cheese burgers). But mostly I'd just shrug my shoulders.
In case you didn't know--but probably do if you have children--shrugging shoulders is rarely a good answer. It doesn't do anybody any good.
The one thing I did know: I wanted to sleep in; I wanted puffy oven pancakes; I wanted a card.
This allowed my morning to play out perfectly. I slept in and woke to the smell of baked deliciousness smothered in syrup. Sydney gave me the card, and since she had picked it out then it was, naturally, a singing card. She adores singing cards and would get them for everyone she knows for every occasion of the year, and I would generally comply if they were just a little bit less expensive. So the adorable card sang me a song, and we all danced around to it, and then as it ended, I pushed the little "PS" button and heard Syd's sweet recorded voice: "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! We love you!"
And my eyes teared up a little, and I was delirious with love. The sunlight streaming through the windows, the mug of hot tea, the dancing, the song, the voice from the card, the laughter of the girls--it was just what I wanted.
That's what I want to remember most about Mother's Day. That moment.
Unfortunately, for a lot of the other moments of the day I was in an inexplicably bad mood. It wasn't Jason's fault, although in poor form I took out most of my agitation on him. We picked at each other, and I was a beast. I very much did not deserve a holiday dedicated to me.
Even now, my chest is tight with angst over the day. I was--to put it bluntly--torn in two different directions. One the one hand, I wanted to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I didn't want to see anybody. I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere. I just wanted to take a nap and drink tea.
But on the other hand, my youngest brother was in town from Seattle, and I wanted to see him. Jason's parents were coming over, and we wanted to have them over. We are so grateful for my mother-in-law's presence in our life. Sis-in-law Sarah was having a dinner shindig, and I wanted to see her family. None of these things conflicted with each other for time. The afternoon and evening played out perfectly.
That part of me still wanted to do nothing. And so I was grouchy. Bad Mama.
When the day was finally over and I crawled into bed, I was relieved. It was too hard to have a day where I was supposed to do whatever I wanted to do because I'm really not that good at deciding what I want to do. I smirk when I think of my bond with skunk cabbages: I was totally skunky. In a stinky way.
Fortunately, I have the singing card to remind me of that moment before I ruined everything.
And fortunately I also have these pictures that Sarah took of my brothers and me. Andrea was in Hawaii, so didn't make the photo-op, but the three of us hammed it up for the camera. The fedora is...inexplicable.
We don't know where that fedora came from, but it makes for a good prop.
What is most unusual about this picture is that Tyler, my younger but not youngest brother, is giving a regular, nice, pleasant smile for the camera. Of the three of us, he's the most likely to make a goofy face at the camera. And yet here? He left Jake and I to look like the goofy ones. (And, yes, I'm posting this picture as penance for my Mother's Day attitude.)
I love these guys. Which is good since Tyler and I get to be neighbors until we drive each other crazy. And even when that happens we'll still probably stay neighbors.
So, on the one hand, I didn't get what I wanted for Mother's Day. But on the other hand, I got exactly what I wanted and more.