It's the first Mother's Day in probably 10 years that I am NOT sweating profusely, slathering sunscreen, getting rain-drenched, or risking being blown away. The majority of my Mother's Day have been spent at the soccer fiields. Last year I dreamed of pampering myself with the Mother of All Lawn Chairs. (See the May 2010 Blog, Happy Soccer Mom's Day.) This year there is no need for a Mother of All Lawn Chairs. And I don't know quite what to do with myself.
How does one celebrate Mother's Day without soccer? My wonderful, glorious children seem to have figured it out. They are giving me the most wonderful gift ever, even as I sit, trapped in my bedroom while they not so secretly plan their surprise. You see, our dishwasher has been out of comission for months. We all LOVE to eat but hate to clean, so you can imagine the constant state of disaster in the kithen. But today I can hear the running water in the kitchen sink, the clanking of dishes and the inevitable bickering that always accompanies thier kitchen cleaning duties. Normally I would have qaushed that bickering by forcing the blaring of Clay Aiken or something just as unpleasant for modern day middle schoolers. But, alas, I am held captive in my room. I can't do a thing about the bickering. And actually, it's kind of nice.
Still, it feels very strange to sit here with absolutely NOTHING to do. I'm not allowed to fold clothes, cook meals, scrub pot and pans. There's no missing shin gaurd to find, no coolers to pack, no game to hurry to. It's just me in the quiet of my room with the instruction to "go relax".
I don't think I remember how to do that. My oldest is almost 20. It's been two decades since I've relaxed.
Should relaxing be this difficult? And boring?
I look around Mother's day jail cell. Hanging from the mirror of my dresser, I see a faded paper "basket" with scrawling childhood hand writing wishing my Happy May Day. Tucked inside is a couple of old Valentine's Cards from Carmen and Sophie along with a handmade foam snowman with Frank's 3rd grade school photo glued on the front. On the dresser is a small ceramic figurine of a kitten resting in a ballet slipper--a gift from Kate given to me years ago. Beside it is a small wooden box painted by a child's hand. It holds my rosaries. There's a small bottle of sand art and a couple of Webkins bears from past Christmases, given to me so that I could play on the Webkins Website, too!
Then there's a small, yellow mesh bag with a flower on the outside and strips of purple paper inside. They read:
I love my mom because she gave birth to me.
I love my mom because she takes care of me.
I love my mom because she lets me have a good education.
I love my mom because she helps me with my homework.
I love my mom for taking me places.
I love my mom because she buys me toys.
I love my mom because she is really funny.
I love my mom because she is cool.
From Your Son Frank, Second Grade.
I pause and reflect on all the million reasons I love my kids. I wonder how big the bag would have to be to hold all those strips of paper.
Some very savory scents are floating in from the kitchen. The bickering has subsided. And I am very grateful for a few moments with nothing to do, for a few moments to "go relax".
I'm blessed. Very, very blessed.
The door opens and I'm finally free. The table is a gorgeous array of delicious foods. What a marvelous banquet!
Then someone yells, obviously annoyed, "Sophie, get up here! We're ready to eat. What's taking you so long!" And she yells back, equally annoyed, "I'm coming. Hold On!"
Ahhhhh...that's more like it. What a Happy Mother's Day!