Everywhere I traveled today--yoga class, consignment shop, Target, my favorite lunch hangout--the ubiquitous, hastily-delivered, so-trite-it's-meaningless "have a nice day" was replaced by a heartfelt, cheerful "Happy Mother's Day!" I don't ever remember noticing this in years past, but it was definitely uplifting to hear mothers getting their shout-out (two days early, no less), over and over as I went about my daily business.
I have to say, though, that it was a little bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm thrilled and grateful and blessed every single day to be a mom, myself. I was someone who, well into her hedonistic 20s, really, truly thought I might never want kids of my own. (So what happened, you ask? I was abducted by aliens and implanted with powerful procreation impulses...What? No, what I meant was, "met the right man and succumbed to the all-consuming Biological Clock". Silly me...) And now, as they say, my life has never been the same. (Blah, blah, blah--I'll spare you the drippy Hallmark card about the neverending rewards of motherhood and the deep significance of the mother/child bond, etc. You're welcome. Please feel free to show your appreciation with gifts of dark chocolate.) But this will also be the first Mother's Day since we lost both my mom and my sister-in-law last year. So there's going to be a lot of missing and remembering along with celebrating. (But NOT sitting around feeling sad or sorry for ourselves...because that would just earn you a steely glare, and possibly a smack upside the head from Mom...but she'd be all for a commemorative...chocolate...toast. See where I get it?)
And while we're on the subject of early Mother's Day wishes: after my dance class on Thursday night, one of the ladies presented us with an awesome surprise. She'd brought chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne to share, and also a milk-chocolate rose for each of us to take home. (Clearly she heeded the "chocolate memo"; no wonder we get along so well!) So there we were, sweaty and tired from our practice...sipping bubbly from plastic cups and noshing on sweet, sophisticated treats before returning home to our families. Sometimes it's good to be the Queen--I mean "mom"!
Then there's my own little team of boys, who entertained me with the following silliness during the evening meal tonight. First Derek said something utterly preposterous (I know, I was as profoundly shocked as you no doubt are...NOT), at which point the standard practice is usually to blame someone (Husband, generally) for being the root cause of his ridiculous behavior and/or mental functioning. I don't recall exactly what was said, but I believe there was a verrrrry roundabout allusion to...ahem...how children are "produced", if you will. Husband quickly pointed out, "Well, (she) did most of the work!" (Thank you, dear--your proper citation for credit in the baby-carrying-and-bearing process is noted and appreciated.) Riley glanced up from his plate and hesitantly interjected, "You contributed...'you know whats'...I don't want to say it at the dinner table." (Oh. Good. Grief. It's not time for that discussion (again) already, is it? I thought we had until next year, and 5th grade Family Life Education! Oh yeah, I forgot, "older brother". Dang it!)
Fortunately, from there we were able to steer the conversation to the much safer, less potentially embarrassing ground of "what do you want for Mother's Day"? Husband asked, "Breakfast in bed"? (No, that would require me to actually speak politely and coherently to others, first thing in the morning, which is, shall we say, "not my forte" (Do you hear an alarm? It's okay, that's just the Gigantic Understatement Alert). The next suggestion he threw out for consideration was "family hike"? Derek looked incredulous, "Who goes for a HIKE on Mother's Day"? (Spoken in a manner that implied he can't fathom how on Earth he's related to these people. I'm going to hear quite a bit of this particular tone in the next few years, I imagine...) "Actually," I replied, "I was planning to run, since it rained so much this week I didn't get out." Thus it was settled: "Family 5K," Husband proclaimed, sounding satisfied, "and maybe brunch afterwards?" As long I'm excused from preparing, cooking, or serving it, sounds like a plan! Just Don't. Forget. The. Chocolate!