Mother's Day 2010

I've been a mom for almost 12 years...longer if you agree with the idea that when you're carrying a child you're a mom.  I did 13 years ago, but Tim didn't.  I don't know how he feels about it now, I'll have to ask him.  Over the years I've gotten many handmade cards and gifts from the kids.  Making a big deal of a holiday or occasion has never been something Tim has done, so there hasn't really ever been anything spectacular about my birthday or Mother's day.  As the kids have gotten bigger, he has done a little more each year in the way of encouraging them to make it a bigger deal.  That's all ok with me.  I have to admit, it was really tough to accept the idea of my kids growing up and not really recognizing these annual occasions as special, but how do you help your children plan your own special day?  I couldn't do that.  I could however help them plan for Tim's birthday and Father's day, and in doing so, maybe something would rub off.  I think in the course of the last several years, we've both kind of found a middle ground.  What I mean is that I probably don't make the effort to be as elaborate as I was and he now does a great job of rallying the kids together and getting them excited about doing something special for me. 

In my fantasy world where I imagine the perfect scenarios of life, mother's day begins with the smell of coffee brewing, the quiet buzz of breakfast being made in the kitchen, while I lay in bed by myself and enjoy the quiet while I wait for my seven smiling children and my husband to bring breakfast to me in bed and sit all around me while I lovingly look over all the beautiful things they've made for me.  When I get out of bed, it will be in my robe and slippers as I accompany them all through the clean, sunlit hallway and living room to the dining table, complete with table cloth and dinnerware, where another cup of coffee and the Sunday paper are waiting for me.  I'll glance over to the kitchen and notice that it is clean except for the minimal evidence that some eggs have been cooked on the stove.  Once we are done in the dining room, the table will be cleared as if it is standard practice and then the children will all go in an orderly fashion to get dressed for church or whatever the day has in store next, each one passing by me to give me a kiss and tell me again how much they love that I am their mother.  My husband will offer to get the little people cleaned up and dressed long before he tends to himself, and will make sure that I have plenty of time to continue to enjoy my coffee and the paper before getting off of my Queen-for-the-day throne to take my shower and get dressed all by myself.  He'll make sure that for at least a little while I won't have to field any questions about the location of missing clothing or shoes, or resolve any disagreements, or clean up any spills.  It is my day...all about me, all about me being on the receiving end of what is normally my job.  My day of vacation.  My day of hearing, "What do YOU want mom?"  My day of everyone being a little more in tune to how they treat each other. 

SCREEEECH!!!!!!!!!  Reality check.  As I stated, that is in my fantasy world.  I know better than to expect this type of perfection, but Tim knows that I have a fantasy world too, so during the week, he has been trying to prep me.  I probably needed the reminder so that I didn't set my expectationst too high.  I think that at this point in life, my expectations are probably higher for what role Tim will play in all of this than what the kids actually do.  He wanted me to recognize though that the kids were doing all of whatever they were doing entirely on their own.  "I know.  Thank you for the reminder.  I will be extra sensitive or appreciative or whatever of everything they do"  He assured me that his designated job was to take Amelia if she woke up so that I could sleep in.  Hmm, I thought, at least I'll get to sleep in. 

This morning at 6am, I heard some commotion in the kitchen and could see that the light was on.  I stayed in bed though per instructions.  I was happy to actually because Amelia had been up all night, restless and finally went back to sleep at 4 and then up again and back to sleep at 5:45.  By 6:15 she was awake again.  I could hear all of the kids in full force in the kitchen as I tried to get Amelia back to sleep.  Tim was sleeping next to me.  I laughed, because I think he forgot about taking care of Amelia, and because five days a week I can't get the kids to get out of bed at 6:30 in the morning, and this morning they're making breakfast at 6!   By 6:30 Amelia was asleep, I was asleep and Tim was asleep.  The door opened and I heard the kids pick her up and then they all returned moments later to flip on the light and shout "Happy Mother's Day" with much excitement.  They brought in a tray with a plate with scrambled eggs and a big 6 inch slab of cake, a cup of coffee with creamer, a big glass of Orange Julius and a vase with fresh cut irises from the flower bed. 
They handed me a folder of handmade cards and gifts that they worked on together.  They even got Julia up, even though her mom was likely still sleeping soundly!  :)  As they were situating themselves and getting ready to hand my breakfast to me, the Orange Julius was knocked over and spilled all over the quilt, comforter and sheets.  Their faces dropped, but I simply offered a towel to help wipe it up.  They poured some of the drink off of the plate back into the glass so that I could still eat.  I read each of their cards aloud and thanked and hugged them each.  Jakob was snapping pictures to capture the moment when he said, "they're all turning out blurry".  I took the time to adjust the settings on the camera and handed it back to him.  Shortly after that, we all went to the table so that everyone could eat--right after the bed was stripped down first.  One of their gifts consisted of tickets with instructions that I could redeem them for anything, anytime, and my request would be carried out without complaint.

The kids made everything by themselves.  The coffee was decaf, although I'm not sure what the creamer was exactly.  The eggs were delicious, and the cake, well, the cake wasn't their creation, rather their winnings from a fundraiser yesterday.  Once we were at the table, they added raisin toast to the menu and all helped themselves to some cake too.  It was pleasant, although normal...fighting about who was going to sit where, standing up and reaching across the table for food, noise volume of a rock concert.  They did let me go back to bed for a little while, and I did sleep for a moment or two under the one blanket that didn't get OJ on it.  My moments were interupted by little people sneaking in to ask, "Where are my pants?"  "I can't find any socks."  "He called me stupid".  Tim got in the shower and I think everyone else fled and left Amelia alone crying in the hallway, so I rolled back out of bed to get her dressed.  They had made an effort to clean up the kitchen, but I was quickly reminded it wasn't done yet.  I think I knew better even at that point, but decided that wasn't going to be something I foucesed on.  I told Tim and myself that I would recognize their heartfelt effort to make my day special.  They were excited and I didn't want to burst their bubble. 

The remainder of the day was for the most part a very normal day in our house.  I tried to make an effort NOT to do anything.  I sat at the computer while lunch was being made, all the while feeling like a bump on a log.  It's really not easy to take a vacation from your job at your job site.  The fighting and crying continued, the house needs a good weekend-long cleaning, the kitchen...well, the house needs a good weekend cleaning.  The laundry is piled a little higher with bedding, and I was told several times that I would need to use my tickets today if I wanted them to do anything.  I thought today was a free tickets needed. 

I did also get to take a nap.  A good hour and a half!  I could've slept longer, but the idea seemed a bit selfish.  When I got up, everyone was preparing to go outside for a bit to take care of prepping the garden area.  Tim requested the boys help.  I stayed inside with Amelia and Joseph, and soon Jon came in, concerned that it was Mother's day and they weren't spending time with me.  I thought it was funny considering the concern arose when they were working, but not during the three hours that they were playing the Wii!  I sent him back out.  :) 

To sum it up, bedtime arrived at around 7:30 this evening.  Their day began early, selflessly and lovingly.  They worked together--without fighting-- to create something special for me.  They each expressed their love for me in a way that took time and effort.  They didn't have to, but they did.  I am blessed.  They may have it perfected in another 15 years or so.  Or maybe not...doesn't matter.  It is the thought that counts the most, and I am grateful for that, even if it only lasted a moment.  I think it probably brings me more joy to serve them than to be served by them, but I also know how it feels even better when they recognize my efforts and appreciate them.  I recognize and appreciate their efforts...all of them.   I love my kids...I loved my Mother's Day.