Every day is Mother’s Day
How was your Mother’s Day? I hope expectations were um, appropriate given the celebrants, and that it was grand.
I requested eggs benedict for Mother’s Day breakfast and Dan, bless his generous heart, wasn’t deterred by the intimidating directions in The Joy of Cooking which require beating egg yolks until your arms fall off and interpreting the instructions: “barely heat.” While I lolled around in bed with a slightly embarrassing hangover because I forgot to eat at Rose’s birthday party, despite spending all day making elk chili, salad and buttermilk cake for our guests, Dan whisked egg yolks over a interpretive double boiler (read: pot precariously sitting atop another pot filled with boiling water) while whisking in single tablespoons of water at orchestrated times. But, oh was it worth it (uh, for me).
And here’s a little something I wrote on Mother’s Day for my newspaper column:
~Every Day is Mother’s Day~
“Why is that Mama putting her feet in cereal?” Rose asks.
“No Rosie, there’s no cereal in there, she’s just putting her feet into milk.” Col explains.
“Oh. Okay Coley.”
The kids are paging through a Mother’s Day spread in a glossy magazine at the dentist’s office. There’s a flawless-skinned mother receiving a tiny, dietetic breakfast in bed – the kind that would fuel you long enough to put the clothes in the washing machine before collapsing in weakness. And there’s a mother with her feet plunged in a milk bath swirled with rose petals, while someone’s strong, masculine hands knead her shoulders.
I explain to the kids the idea behind Mother’s Day, and Rose wonders “when is it ever going to be Kids Day?”
Good point Rose! Because you need a break from all the drudgery of playing and riding bikes and sitting down to nutritious meals that later get whisked into the sink while you’re back to playing.
“Everyday is Kid’s Day,” I tell them.
“And everyday is Mother’s Day too,” Col says brightly.
And he’s right.
And it’s not that everyday someone is toting a tray of blueberries and champagne into my bedroom with hands lotioned up for my morning massage. No, it’s more like there I am, still in my bathrobe, hunched over the stove taking orders for the kids’ 3rd breakfast. Rose is at the table, a pile of bread crusts scattered around her plate, butter smeared in her golden-brown hair, exclaiming “I do like your homemade bread after all, Mama!” Meanwhile, Col is busily wondering, “why is Christmas just one day?” and: “What if we called Baby Grace, Baby Grease!’”
It’s a privilege to feed these ravenous children, to nourish their small bodies that are quietly taking shape, chiseled by an invisible sculptor who works by night. It’s a gift greater than milk-soaked feet to watch Rose flying down the street on her bike, her radiant smile like protective armor. The bells of my heart chime when I see Col spy the first black cricket of the season – he lunges after it as thrilled as if it’s a 20 dollar bill tucked under a shrub. My children’s happiness is the mindfulness bell bringing me back to the luck of my own life.
Our days are strung together like a garland of ordinary moments. Meals are made, books are read, jackets are zipped, dandelion bouquets are presented and hands are held: their tiny fingers like jewels in my palm.
Sometimes it seems like these moments—and our tightly braided lives—will go on forever, a endless string of breakfast dishes and bug-spotting. But they won’t. Someday my children will walk by a clump of sunny dandelions and not think to scrabble them together into a sweaty bouquet. Someday my bed won’t be full of children wriggling like puppies before the sun is even up.
I’m grateful to walk by my children’s side for as long as they’ll let me, nourished by the gift of their lives.
Everyday is Mother’s Day.