Sunday, May 12, 2013

Down To Earth Mother's Day

My pie-in-the-sky Mother's Day goes like this.
The books I will not read today

I sleep in, maybe until 9:00, when my daughters bring me breakfast in bed and cuddle round for awhile. I then lounge in my favorite chair, reading my pile of library books before they're due back (those 7 day and 14 day books are rough when my greedy eyes have grabbed more than one) and writing a while. My sons come to visit and catch me up on little details of their lives. I nap, watch the Red Sox win, snack, come out for dinner with my family, then walk in the waning sunshine to the Walnut Beach Creamery for Mud ice cream.

In reality, this is how it goes, at least today.

My early risers Liz & Ava
I can't sleep. I can never sleep. I wake up at 2:00 hot, 3:00 because I heard someone else up, 4:30 thirsty, 6:30 for good. It's pouring rain. I make myself coffee and move laundry. My granddaughter's up and wanders down for food. By 7:00 my youngest is up and has flowers for me. Nice. My granddaughter wakes up her mother, and we give her a present. Also nice. We make a lot of noise and wake my husband, who's dead-tired after 36 hours of work in 3 days. He's lovely, sends me back to my room to read, but I've just piled laundry in my reading chair, wrapping all over my bed for my mother and mother-in-law's present, I've lost one of their cards, and my son Billy's knocking at the door to give me random Pokemon cards and a plastic bracelet he picked out of the dirt and washed after his Special Olympics swimming practice (this ended up being cute, he had a little speech and yes, I'm wearing the bracelet). I think I want a New York Times, but then forget to ask for it.

Breakfast a la Sheyanne
I start folding laundry to clear my chair to read and decide I'd rather be at yoga, maybe my chair will be cleared of laundry in my absence. Yoga is nice. I come home to an egg white omelette made by Shey and Lizzy with vegetables and cheese, chopped fruit salad and a gift bag from my daughters. Beautiful, delicious. Laundry's still on my chair so I fold it, my husband helps. It stops raining just in time for Ciara's noon soccer game in Wallingford to be called on, so we leave for that. She's upset she didn't get her favorite breakfast sandwich because I was getting another Mother's Day present (an incredible, $99 laser printer that prints 27 pages per minute) and fusses the whole ride. I read in the car until the game starts, then watch. It's fun, but we're gone 4 hours. I come home, exhausted. My sheets are the in the dryer. My husband is gone, the assistant manager working today at Walmart has locked all her keys in the electronics cabinet. Then, once he comes home, locks them again in the cash office. He sends Sheyanne, but in return we have to watch her daugher. Fine.

The chair I will not read in.
The laundry I will do.
The present-covered bed I will not lounge in
He helps me finish the bed and I take a 10 minute nap. See Ryan for less than one minute today, he's going to work at Jimmie's of Savin Rock. Watch the Red Sox totally blow the game for another 15 minutes. Come out for a 45 minute cookout in honor of my Mom. It's good food, my mom's happy with her gifts and cards but there's a few meltdowns, tears, tantrums over a Fudgie the Whale cake, I take a picture with 3 of my 8 kids and feel lucky. I look at it later and decide I look Stepford-blank so I'm not posting it--you can't make me. I'm so tired I can't form full words or sentences.A slew of things happen that I don't understand. My brain has collapsed unto itself, a tiny ball of Silly Putty where there was a full mass of clay at dawn. Mark asks which I'd rather do--finish cookout and clean up or go to the next game. I'm out the door in a heartbeat. I'm not sure I said good-bye to anyone.

Three generations (I'm the fourth. Taking the picture)
I'm going to another soccer game with Ciara in Guilford, she wants to practice driving, I'm glad because my exhaustion is such that my facial muscles are weighted and they might hit the steering wheel. Go to Starbucks for a chai, it's madness because there's a frappuccino special going on for another 10 minutes. People are insane for $1.50 savings. Ciara and I add up the calories consumed in the drinks prepared before ours. Fifteen thousand. I wait fifteen minutes, we're late for Ciara's game.

Ciara and Mariah rocking the defense here against Guilford
Her team plays well despite being down players a couple of players, and there's funny Jack Russell terriers running around with soccer balls. It's cold and windy, the field at the far side of an elementary school field up against a marsh. I come home, unwind with my husband for half an hour with a glass of wine in our bedroom, ignoring all the knocks on the door, say good-night to the kids, take a bath, and it's 9:30. I open the computer.

It was a good day. Down to earth. I saw all my kids for at least one minute. I read in the car for a few minutes before each game. I didn't cook, and beyond making my bed and folding a little laundry, I had it easy. I had fun with the other parents at the games, my brother and his family, my mom and pop at the picnic, I love Fudgie, and chai, and omelettes, and the sweet potato fries and shrimp kabobs at dinner, I love yoga and naps and watching the Red Sox and unwinding with Mark and that he got me a printer.

Lizzy bringing me coffee
And, besides the flowers and such, it was the same as any ordinary Sunday, except I had no sunday school or church today. I am treated well by my own family, and see extended family everyday. I feel loved every day and appreciated most. I find time to read, and get myself a coffee. My kids often do sweet things for me every day.

If those things did not happen, I'd feel more pressure for today to be more perfect, or different. But when I have felt that way--when my husband worked every weekend and I was home alone with 7 kids under the age of 10 with a full-time job and full-time grad school to contend with--I was disappointed. There's simply no way for one day to "make up" for being overstretched and outnumbered in your out-of-control daily life. It's just one day. And the cooking, laundry, bedding, meltdowns still have to be dealt with. They never end.

The "blue jeans" flowers
Still...I woke up with my dream day. I took a picture of it today. And, over the next week--I'll chip away at it. Read the books, take a quiet nap, walk for ice cream. Because moms need moments like these every day, or we drain ourselves empty, and angry. We need these moments to teach our kids our own value, and help them learn their own. We need them to survive our busy lives. We need them to be happy, and to love.

Happy Mother's Day with Love, Lisa

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