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A Mother’s Day revelation

Ahhh, Mother’s Day. As another one approaches, moms around the globe wallow in their delusions, waiting to have the day happen, revel in its glory, languish in their Motherdom, and then be able to regale friends with tales of how special it was.

A revelation
Well, I hate to be a burster of bubbles, sotospeak, but I have had the MD revelation and feel compelled to share what I discovered one year ago — Mother’s Day is EVERYDAY.

The day dawned bright and early. Any notions of actually sleeping in were squashed at 6 am by three boisterous children jumping on my bed and screaming. Now, that would have been sweet had they been vocalizing “Happy Mother’s Day!” or “We love you!”, but they were chanting, nay demanding, “CARTOONS!” It was not until they were reminded by a Pop Tart commercial on Nickelodeon, depicting two children serving Mom a frosted blueberry rectangle in bed, that they actually said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

They then fled the room in search of Pop Tarts . . . for THEM. But lest you think I did not get breakfast served to me, you are wrong. Within 10 minutes, my three year old returned and I received breakfast in bed . . .er, rather ON bed. She was covered in chocolate Pop Tart crumbs.

The day continued forward with plans to take me to a lovely Mother’s Day Brunch at a local hotel. Oh joy! A chance to get dressed up! Well, actually I spent the majority of my time getting my three daughters dressed up, fighting over outfits, hair, shoes, etc. (And NO, my husband cannot be charged with this duty. The children would look like before/after shots in a weight loss ad, wearing each other’s clothing, and as for the hair?, Vidal Sassoon, he is not.)

With the remaining five minutes, I threw on the nearest matching top and pants, fluffed my hair and hurried down to the garage only to hear everyone honking for me to hurry up! I was making us late!

Time out equals relaxing?
Now, on the surface, taking a Mom out to eat sounds like a grand idea. No food to prepare. No dishes to wash. Only a relaxing dining experience, right? HA! Factor in Curly, Larry and Moe and you have a scene straight out of The Stooges Meet Food, In Public.

I spent the majority of my time finding food they deemed acceptable. (Hotel buffets tend to overlook the fact that most children do not appreciate Stuffed Crab, Eggs Benedict and Veal Piccata, and find Salmon Mousse to be, and I quote, “Disgusting!”) Then as soon as I was settled in my chair, fork poised over my crab, they inevitably needed a refill of the noodles I had painstakingly picked from the pasta salad, being careful that no stray vegetables managed to find their way back to our table.

Finally, there was the lavish dessert table, loaded with cakes, pies, and miniature delectables. My children loaded their plates and then one by one, tasted and discarded each “Disgusting” piece. (Note to buffet manager: Just provide a huge bowl of M&Ms and a spoon next time.)

As for new things for Mother’s Day? Well, I did get to fondle new clothes – actually my daughter’s new jeans that she complained were too stiff to wear. I got to wash them and figured I might as well do a full load since I was down in the laundry room. And as for surprises? Sure. I got a huge surprise when I opened the laundry chute doors and was lost beneath the pile of dirty clothes that tumbled down.

I suppose I got jewelry for Mother’s Day too. There were several “rings” around the collars of my husband’s shirts in that load of laundry and my daughter’s underwear that got stuck on my hairclip did look like a tiara of sorts. Oh, and when we went grocery shopping later in the day, I received an ID bracelet made of plastic when I dropped my youngest daughters in the grocery store playland. (Considering it allowed me to pick up two of my most precious possessions, it was worth more than any diamond tennis bracelet from Tiffany’s.)

The evening was spent finishing homework, packing lunches for school, and refereeing a fight over a jump rope. As the “special day” was winding down, I began to reflect on how it was different from other days. Truth be told, it wasn’t and quite frankly, I was glad. It had finally dawned on me that my family needed me just as much on Sunday as they do the other 364 days of the year. That made me feel special, and that is why I now know that EVERY DAY truly is Mother’s Day.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled daydreaming.

Mother’s day vs. Pickle Week
It seems like we celebrate just about anything these days. It’s as if Congress (and Hallmark) have hung out a banner announcing, “Holidays for Sale! No Idea Too Offbeat!” And so in addition to the traditional holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and the Fourth of July, we have days set aside to pay homage to secretaries, grandparents, nurses . . . you name it.

Entire festivals are even devoted to foods like garlic, corn, kumquats and pasta. Now, while I’m all for a good Garlic-Kumquat Pasta, today something was brought to my attention that forces me to take a stand against all these frivolous festivities. It seems that while one brief day is devoted each year to honoring we Mothers, our green friend the Pickle rates an entire week!

A week?!? (Pardon me while I turn green with envy.)

Yes, National Pickle Week. Please tell me what a pickle has that I don’t? What attributes does a dill possess that earn it kudos for seven days? Am I not as cute as a cucumber? Zesty as a zucchini? Perhaps I don’t look as sweet as the pickle chips next to the sandwich, but I MAKE THE SANDWICH! I may not be as petite as a baby gherkin, but I MAKE THE BABIES! And need I point out the irony that the leading pickle manufacturer uses a stork to hawk its brand? Not to mention that the pickle itself has been the stereotypical staple of pregnancy cravings since Lucy was “with child,” carrying Little Ricki?

Someone stop me… these pickle analogies could go on all day.

What I am trying to say, with all due respect to the folks at Claussen and Vlasic, is this: Put a lid on it. I AM MOTHER! HEAR ME ROAR!

With the notable exception of the December religious holidays, there is certainly no one more deserving of recognition and honor than the mothers of the world. All right, all right, Father’s Day is important too, but until men sprout fallopian tubes and begin to ovulate, their day will remain second banana to Mom’s.

There is simply something special about a mom and what she does. And no, I am not talking about the obvious things like laundry, cleaning, cooking, and chauffeuring. (Although the fact that we are the ones to actually clean the underside of the toilet seat is certainly due its reverence.) Here are just a few of the unseen, unheard, unthought-of reasons why “Mom” deserves at least, if not more, recognition than a Kosher Dill:

  • For all the nights spent lying awake and pregnant, scared of the future, trapped by the future and awed by the future, all at the same time.
  • For all the times we have snuck into the kid’s rooms at night and held a finger under their noses just to “make sure.”
  • For every time we have silently done without, in order that our child can place a book order, go on a field trip or get those new cool shoes.
  • For every moment we spend dying inside when our child suffers a disappointment or physical trauma.
  • For each second we hold our breath waiting for a newly licensed teen to pull safely back into the driveway on Friday nights.
  • For all the tears we shed in private when we think we just can’t do it another day, and then somehow emerge with a smile and do it another day.
    And so, while we will continue to celebrate trees, tulips, turkeys and tumbleweeds, keep one more thing in mind as Mother’s Day draws near. While pickles may certainly have their place in our society, and next to our sandwiches, no vinegared cuke shall ever attain the bittersweet omniscience of a Mom. For to quote the wise novelist Peter De Vries, “God could not be everywhere, so he made Mothers.”(Pickles came MUCH later.
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