Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Perfect

Television commercials and greeting card companies have us thinking that Mother's Day is a special day, a day when Mom is treated like a queen, a day for relaxation, a day when everything goes right, a day even when children put Mom first and put aside bickering and other difficult behaviors.

If you're a mother, please tell me I'm right in thinking that's a bunch of hogwash.

Instead of being awakened by breakfast in bed (which, by the way, I don't expect on a Sunday), I was greeted by my son whispering to me that he felt sick and his throat was sore. The baby sort of tossed and turned more than normal at night, and I wondered if he was feeling poorly, too. I decided to stay home from church with them.

Sick children and no church = not Mother's Day perfect.

Once the decision was made to stay home, I had hopes of making the frosting for the sugar cookies I planned to make with the children. You see, our Mother's Day tradition is not to go out to eat, but to stay home and make cookies with Mom because I love making cookies. Well, with lots of laundry and a fussy little one, the frosting wasn't made.

Not being on schedule = not Mother's Day perfect.

I decided to go ahead and pull leftovers out of the fridge for lunch so I'd have something ready when my husband got home. When another son came home from church, I asked him to run downstairs and bring up a quart of green beans to supplement the leftovers. He came back upstairs telling me there was a snake.

Well, I was skeptical. Our basement is pretty nice--not finished, but not a gross, stinky basement. I headed downstairs to check out the situation, and sure enough there was a real snake on a rug. It wasn't moving, so I figured it was dead. I ran upstairs and ordered everybody else to stay out of the basement until Daddy came home. I proceeded to take the phone to the bathroom, close the door, call Daddy at church, and launch into full-blown hysterics over the fact that there was a SNAKE in my basement and our children play there and how did it get there and please, please come home and get rid of it right away.

Go all whacky and hysterical and call my husband at his work on a Sunday = not Mother's Day perfect.

My husband came home went downstairs right away. My son showed him where it had been, but the snake was no longer there.  Search was temporarily abandoned to finish lunch preparations and to change out of church clothes.

Snake on the loose in my basement (no matter how tiny and non-venomous) = not Mother's Day perfect.

Seeing as how I still needed some green beans, I sent two brothers together (wearing shoes) to the basement to get them. Little sister followed along, promising to scream if she saw the snake. She made good on that promise. To shorten a long story, my son managed to get the snake back outside.

After lunch, only one of my children wanted to make the cookie dough with me because they'd been looking forward to watching a movie. I was okay with that because it is so hard to avoid fighting when 5 children want to add ingredients and stir. 

By the time I'd made the frosting to decorate the cookies, it was too late to cook the supper I had planned, and I was worn out.

Last minute meal-planning desperation = not Mother's Day perfect.

After supper, it was time to put the guineas in their enclosure, but when I checked for eggs there was only one instead of the six or seven we normally have. That meant we had to hunt for eggs because we  don't want a hen going broody and refusing to get in the safety of the coop at night. So a few children and I tramped around all over the place, but we only managed to find two more eggs. While this served to wear me out more, it was kind of fun.

But really worn-out Mom and cookies aren't done and it's almost bedtime for some = not Mother's Day perfect. 

I was feeling a little disappointed at this point because the frosting mess would have to carry over into tomorrow. I really had wanted to sit down to messy but delicious frosted sugar cookies and milk for bedtime snack, with my children's messy faces smiling back at me.

Instead, I used all the rest of my energy to be patient while taking turns helping each child roll out dough and cut out hearts and bicycles, cartoon characters and dinosaurs. We baked them, and the children sat down (one at a time and without me) and hurriedly gobbled down one unfrosted cookie with milk after bedtime. Daddy tucked them in while I finished cookies with the older siblings.

All but my littlest is in bed now, and looking back, I realize that "not Mother's Day perfect" couldn't have been more perfect. Sometimes all the Mother's Day hoopla makes us think that our normal crazy Mommy life isn't ideal, but all of the chaos is a huge part of motherhood. Mother's Day shouldn't be about sanitizing all the imperfections that go along with children, but instead should be a celebration of all that robust life and chaos and of the mother who wouldn't have it any other way.

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