Mother’s Day

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Sometimes I just don’t like Mother’s Day, or any “special” day, for that matter.  It’s a lot of pressure.  Like, ok, the day’s not going to be perfect, but it’s hard not to raise expectations when the buzz is in the air.

My Mother’s Day was mainly good.  Akiva and Bill got up early, as is their habit, and went downstairs to make cards for me.  Gideon and I got up later, as is our habit.  Bill’s attempt to make gluten-free crepes was valiant indeed, and motivated entirely by love.

I had to sing in church this morning, and Akiva had soccer, so the gang of us did our usual mad dash to get out the door and go to our respective appointments.  I wasn’t crazy about having to work on Mother’s Day, but as I am daily realizing, being a mother means doing what has to be done.

When I got home, close to 1, Bill was upstairs napping with Gideon, and Akiva was painting in the dining room.  He’s become quite self-reliant around Gideon’s nap time, maybe even too much so, since when I asked him if he wanted to hang out after I ate lunch, he said no.  He wanted to go upstairs and read.  I ate lunch, put the laundry in the dryer, and prepped dinner.

Eventually Bill came downstairs.  We had library business to attend to today (books & videos due) and I’d hoped he would have gotten that done before soccer so that we would be in the clear for the afternoon.  Of course we were all in a rush, so it didn’t happen.  I suggested that maybe Bill and Akiva could take care of it right away while Gidi was napping, so that our big Mother’s Day outing didn’t end up being to the Newton Library.  And then I burst into tears.  (At least this year it wasn’t my mother-in-law making me cry.)

Here’s the thing about the pressure:  I knew there would be no flowers, no restaurant brunches, no gifties.  I knew it was going to be a work day.  I knew Gideon’s nap was going to eat up our potential family time, because that is what happens every Sunday.

And yet I allowed myself to think about how nice it would be if those impossible things materialized.  As much as I know I am lucky to have a happy, healthy, intact family, with food on the table and a roof over our heads and an amazing congregation and an even more amazing education for our children — well, I also wanted brunch.  I feel embarrassed for buying into the cultural claptrap, and ashamed of my ingratitude.  I can imagine people (maybe even you) thinking I should be happy to have time to spend with my family.  I also imagine those same people had brunch, damn it.

Anyway, the guys went to the library and took care of business.  They came home. Bill and I have been talking lately about the movie Don Juan de Marco.  It’s not a stellar film, but it has a stunning scene toward the end that has been much on my mind in recent weeks.  Although I hadn’t asked, he brought the DVD home from the library, and I was grateful.

When Gidi was still napping at 3, we decided to wake him up.  Akiva went in and snuggled him, and then we all spent some time together goofing around on the bed.  Closer to 4, we got shoes and jackets on and (finally!) went for a nature walk.  It was there that I got my Mother’s Day gift:

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