Before I was ever a mom, and before I had any idea what being a mom is about, I had a friend with two small kids. It was her first year in Seattle (also, I think it was her last) and it was rainy and gloomy out and she called me and asked if I wanted to join her for some spa time.
“It’s Mother’s Day… Don’t you want to spend it with your kids?” I asked. (Oh, the naivete…)
“We had a great morning together before naps. But, boy, you just wait.”
I’d shrugged off that conversation then–it was during the years when I wanted to start my family and had idyllic romantic ideas about what being a parent entailed–and, at the time even wondered if her reaction was really normal. But every year on Mother’s Day, I think about that conversation and Sarah and my different reactions, because it was so blatantly obvious that I had no real idea how complicated it was to be a mother.
I have just had the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. And I think it’s because finally, after 10 years of being a mother, I actually truly feel like a mother.
I know that sounds sort of bizarre, but this time I saw Mother’s Day for what it could be worth. When I realized that nobody was making plans, I called my mother and along with my sister-in-law we made plans to go have have pedicures and drinks in the late afternoon and then meet up with the crew for takeout dinner afterwards.
The whole day was spent enjoying being a mother. I got my breakfast in bed. Twice. (Starting at 5:45am. Frozen Krusteez pancakes–I guess what goes around comes around.) I had amazingly adorable handmade cards delivered to me all day long. (Also starting at 5:45am.) I spent the day with the kids gardening, being silly, breaking up fights, kissing booboos, helping with homework and also engaged in some totally unfun disciplining. In short, it was a parenting day, but it was one where I remembered all day long how much I’ve always wanted to be a mother and how much I love being a mother to my kids.
And then at 5pm I got to sit in a chair next to my mom and Kate and sip a drink while someone else massaged my legs with hot oil and lotions. It was relaxing and lovely. And because the three of us are usually accompanied by six kids, it was a treat to actually be able to track each other’s conversation. Kate even fell asleep in her chair while having her feet rubbed (ah, the joys of night nursing…) It was heavenly. The perfect mix of enjoying what you have and getting a break, as well.
Tonight I’m back to laundry and making mediocre lunches that will come back to me tomorrow night all smushed and uneaten. But anyone who says that Mother’s Day is just another Hallmark holiday is… Well, they’re probably right. But I’m certainly not complaining.