Happy Mother's Day to all my band of mothers! Today is the one day out of the entire year where I can pretty much make any demand, and my husband and children have to comply. A few years ago, I asked my husband to vacate the house with all the kids and not come back until sundown. Another time, I went on a glorious all-day girls' shopping trip to Oak Brook. I usually choose to spend Mother's Day without my actual children. The first year, my husband was distraught by my request:
Husband: "It's Mother's Day. Don't you want to spend it with the kids?"
Me: "I spend every day with the kids. How can I distinguish that it's my special day?"
Husband: "Don't you want to have a family day?"
Me: "Once again, every day for me is family day. Would you want to hang drape (husband's second job) on Father's Day?"
Husband: "Whatever." (code for: "you win")
I look forward to this one day as an opportunity to have all my neurons grow back. I'm sure there's some science to back me up somewhere. A day without your kids makes you smarter.
This year, my husband's family is honoring his mother by doing a Breast Cancer Walk here in Beverly. It has been 15 years since my mother-in-law passed away and I have agreed to participate - breaking my own no-kids tradition. I feel it is the least I can do. I never met my mother-in-law, and by all accounts, she was a remarkable woman who raised 7 upstanding children. There's not a bad apple in the bunch - an amazing feat when you consider the odds of having at least one kid going awry.
I know there are many women out there who have some tension with their in-laws. For me, there is not a day that goes by that I don't regret not having another set of grandparents who adore my kids. No matter the disagreements or general personality conflicts a woman can have with her in-laws, the pool of people who love your children almost as much as you is generally small. I also would have loved to have stories about my own husband as a boy. There really is nobody on the planet who can fill me in on how he slept, what his temperament was like, and how it felt when he took his first breath.
So I will walk for Rita this year and thank her for providing me perhaps the only man in the world capable of understanding and accepting my fringe personality.
After the walk, I will quickly vacate the neighborhood before my kiddies notice, take my own wonderful mother out for lunch, and not return until everyone is in bed.
Happy Mother's Day to all - no matter how you spend it!