True confession: When you are a mother yourself and your own mother and mother-in-law are still alive, Mother’s Day becomes a conundrum.
There was one year, a single, solitary year since I became a mother, that the stars aligned and everything worked out perfectly during that one particular twelve-ish hour period of time that mothers get to be (sort of) as selfish as the rest of humanity. We all agreed to have brunch at some place that I cannot even recall now, it was that long ago.
My mother and stepfather were there, along with my in-laws. My husband’s brother and family were there, but cut out a little early so they could get together with his wife’s mother. My husband’s sister’s mother-in-law lived twelve hours away and they weren’t particularly close, so she was good knocking out her Mother’s Day and her mother’s Mother’s Day in this way. My youngest brother had already spent QT with his in-laws, and my middle brother was divorced and pre- current fiancée, so all was good on his end too.
It was damn near perfect: a typical Mother’s Day brunch with delicious mimosas and bloody marys and excellently prepared prime rib and omelets made to order and the most adorable little fruit parfait deserts.
And the conversation! Oh, the conversation. The laughs and smiles and mug shots for the plethora of cameras that abound. The grandkids, as young as they were at the time, were all on their best behavior and I don’t recall a single meltdown, to be honest. Admittedly, my memory may be blurred by too many mimosas but I don’t care; it was the most perfect Mother’s Day since I became a mother that I can recall.
I’ve been a mother for sixteen years now, and that was the only one, the single Mother’s Day that was all-encompassing and yet so perfect.
The only one.
Usually, it’s more along these lines:
Husband: What do you want for Mother’s Day?
Me: Peace, happiness, someone else to do all that stuff I do that no one notices until it isn’t done. Oh, and someone else to clean up after that fantastic meal that I know you’ll prepare.
Him: Let’s not get carried away.
Me: How about just the cleanup after the meal then?
Him (grudgingingly—he really hates to clean, which is why he learned how to cook after we got married, since the rule in our house is whoever cooks, the other cleans): Done.
Me: Okay, so what about our mothers?
Me: You know, those two women who gave birth to us and thus set in motion what would become the lovely little family we have today?
Him: Well, I don’t know about your mom, but let me text mine to see what she wants…
Text from my husband to his mother: What do you want for Mother’s Day? A task completed or a gift?
Me: *eye roll*
Also me, without contacting my mother in advance: I’m going to go to my mom’s house and clean up her yard.
Him: Have fun with that. Also, I’m going golfing on Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Him, after receiving text from his mother: We need to go to my parents’ house for dinner.
Him: Mother’s Day.
Me: Um, I thought you were making me dinner and then we’re watching Game of Thrones; after you clean up after said dinner?
Him: Don’t you care about my mother?
Me: Well, yes, but—
Him: What, do you think this day is all about you?
Me: Well, yes. But I understand that—
Him: Well, what do you want me to tell my mother?
Me, in my head: Here we go again. I will make all decisions and probably have to clean up after them, too.
Me, out loud: You can make breakfast for me and dinner for her. But I’m not cleaning ANY OF IT.
Him, what I suspect he’s thinking: Yeah, you just keep on believing that….
Him, out loud: That sounds like a plan. You’re the best, honey.
Me, in my head: If I have to clean up at his mother’s house…
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, whether you mother children or furbabies; whether you are a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, a best friend, a daughter… I hope you all have that elusive, most perfect Mother’s Day for at least one day a year!