Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! (Now Leave Me Alone)

Dear Children (and their father),

I know you all love me, as you frequently tell me and write so sweetly in the handmade mother’s day cards that I receive each year.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate your efforts…I really do!  It’s just that I have a new idea for our celebration this year and I thought I’d throw it past you to see what you all think.

You know how every Mother’s Day before church, you each tell me “Happy Mother’s Day!” somewhere in-between my badgering one of you to PLEASE go find some clean socks and put them on and I ask the other to stop shoveling handfuls of Apple Jacks into your mouth while standing in front of the cabinet (would it kill ya to use a bowl?), while I continually nag the third slowpoke to brush your hair so no one mistakes you for someone in need of a homeless shelter?  Yeah, THAT Mother’s Day morning.  Not that any of us can differentiate the Mother’s Days in my life.  Well, except that many years ago, my mornings revolved around changing diapers and giving bottles and sippie cups and getting you all dressed in some semi-respectable form and hoping we could be out the door for church before someone needed another round of diapers/bottles/sippie cups/clothes.  I guess somewhere in there, I was supposed to be getting dressed and eating breakfast and putting on make up.  But, I eventually got used to eating a cheese stick en route to church and having my “morning coffee” sometime after I fed everyone lunch and got the youngest down for naptime.

Where was I??  Oh yes!  My new idea!

Now perhaps it’s just that I’m feeling worn down like old carpeting that spurred me on to my brilliant plan.  Or it’s that I finally realized that with the exception of being handed your beautiful cards and sometimes going out to lunch, Mother’s Day was kinda feeling like most any other day.  Although, when you were all younger, I think it was MORE work for me (and you too, dear) to take the three of you out to eat.  You were always wonderful little eater-outers, but I still schlepped the loaded-diaper kiddo to the grimy, tray-in-the-wall changing station thingie, helped everyone pick out the perfect menu item that I knew you’d each love AND eat, cut everyone’s food, listened to the same knock-knock joke at least three times (since you each needed to give it a shot) and eventually ate a few bites of my (then cold) lunch, washed down with my luke-warm coffee.  Now that you’re all growing up so fast and have far more interesting/wonderful/funny friends than I can ever hope to be, it’s become a juggling act of schedules (and I play master-juggler) to make sure I see each of you on Mother’s Day.  Although I DO see you quite well from the metal bleachers as both of you boys usually have baseball tournaments on Mother’s Day weekend.  So, as I’m working fast and furiously on my farmer’s tan and numb butt, you’re right; I DO see you.  At the plate.  On the pitcher’s mound.  At first base.  At short stop.  That is, I see you boys when I’m not off looking to keep an eye on you, the baseball bored sister.  Or, accompanying you to the pervert-attracting bathrooms at the baseball field.  (At least I’m sure they are, based on a NightLine episode I saw once.)

Remember that Mother’s Day a few years ago when the weather was gross and I didn’t feel all that great?  And, I stayed in bed ALL DAY and watched TV and ate all my meals in bed and in front of the TV?  And, I shut the door so you all thought I was deathly ill, but remained conscience enough to watch really old movies (like“Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”) on TV?  And it was WONDERFUL?!?!  Remember that?  It gave birth to my ingenious idea!

My amazing idea:

Could you all please leave me alone on Mother’s Day?

Like, after church, you guys all go do whatever you want to….but don’t include me.  Really, truly, honestly, I am NOT offended.  Maybe Dad can take you to a new movie, or on a really LONG walk, or out to lunch and dinner….or do all these ideas!  I wish you all could fully understand the sheer joy I would have by being given a few solid hours ALONE.  IN.  MY.  OWN.  HOME.  It’s better than a day at the spa!!!  I would crank my music (which, yes, you've all assured me is horrible, talentless noise compared to the gems of songs you guys love), sing as loud as I wanted to, eat popcorn for lunch, sit and stare at a wall for a bit (because I CAN) and even curl up with a good book.  And, you wouldn't KNOW I was sitting down with a good book, so none of you would HAVE to need me at that exact moment with some variety of a crisis.  Brilliant, huh?  I might even take myself to a coffee shop and instead of grabbing my coffee and leaving, I may become a sit-there-with-a-book woman.  AND, I may get a refill on my coffee if the book is especially captivating.  It’s almost downright deliciously scandalous.

Kids, I KNOW you’ll have fun with Dad.  And Sweetie, the kids really do crave more quality time with you considering all the long hours you put in.  Truly, we’re all getting the best of both worlds.  See!  I’m a great mom….still thinking of what’s best for all of you, even on Mother’s Day! :)  So, whaddya think?  Genius, huh?

Love you all a bunch and I hope you have an amazing time on your special day out together.


P.S.  And to anyone else who may find this letter and think, “This awful mother needs to appreciate what Mother’s Day means and be with her family all day!  Family is precious and this mother won’t know what she’s missing until one day it’s gone!”  Yes, I agree.  My family is amazingly precious and I love them dearly.  And, I’ve got 364 other days of the year to marinate in the constant preciousness of the job called “motherhood.”


  1. So funny! I always say the best Mother's Day I ever had was when everyone went to church without me and left me in my bed with breakfast, coffe and a newspaper.

  2. Where is the LIKE button when we need one?! Wow you captured my life - only it is STILL like that with all of the children grown. So yep - fight for that day OFF. And Happy Mother's Day Kathryn!

  3. I ask for things to be planted so they will go help DAD put them in after going and getting them. I'm writing this during my night off...Wednesday, while everyone that can talk is at Awana. I can shout from the mountaintops that I love my family, but just like eating cheese cake - to much of a great thing makes one sick.

  4. Amen! Hope your suggestions are heard and followed. :)