|Mother's Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I lie in bed listening to the boys bickering. "Why did you put the toast in now? It's going to be cold by the time everything else is ready." The younger brother defends his place in the Mother's Day Preparations, "Well, you're ruining everything. Why can't you let me just do it? You're an idiot."
I beat back my urge to go downstairs and referee the cooking feud and roll over in the bed instead. After quite a bit of clanging and more stage whisper name calling, I hear feet on the landing of the stairs. Here we go. Mother's Day. Breakfast in bed. One of my favorite family traditions.
The boys walk in with a tray of food, coffee, and sometimes a bud vase with one of our garden flowers. They hand me cards first, then a present. My husband hands me a card and present as well. Sometimes there's even a card "from" our dog. Lord knows he's my youngest baby. Sometimes the presents are homemade. Sometimes they are coupon books for services that the boys promise to offer at future dates. Sometimes they are a shared effort of pooled allowance money and really shock me (a Shuffle for my gym workouts really took the cake one year).
There is a clear attempt at being nice to one another while I eat my breakfast. They know that a day without bickering is the only present that I really want, any day of the year. "Do you like the eggs? I made the eggs." I do like the eggs. There is something very different about them. Tomatoes, cheese, spinach(?), no it's lettuce, and something sweet...raisins?! After my deduction, I respond, "I do like the eggs. You put some of last night's salad in, didn't you. I wouldn't have thought to do that. It works though (it did, mostly)."
A version of this has happened for the last 13 years. The first two years my husband did most of the cooking but once they were old enough to put bread in the toaster or open a cup of yogurt, they have come up the stairs with my breakfast. I love Mother's Day because it is their day to really think about someone else (Father's Day too). They know that there will be no card and present waiting for them after I open my surprises. They are actively trying to think of things that I will like, or at least things that they can afford that I will also like. That is why I like the over blown, Hallmark highjacked holiday of Mother's Day. It is one of the first ways that my boys started to learn selflessness, kindness, generosity, and gratitude.
A good friend of mine told me that she instructed her husband to teach her son about Mother's Day. She understood that her husband's love didn't always show up aligned with holidays or birthdays. In spite of that, she wanted him to teach their son the importance of thinking of and caring for others. "He won't know how to stay in a decent relationship if he doesn't get a chance to practice these practical ways of caring." Amen! I don't love scrambled eggs with lettuce and raisins. I do love my 8 year old son "visioning" a gourmet, one-of-a-kind brunch for his mother - just to show her how much he cares.