Since we can’t have Mother’s Day every day, over the years mothers learned not to expect to much out of life – a kind word every other year or so; now and then a big night out on the town, starting at McDonalds and ending up in a whirl of recklessness at Dunkin’ Donuts for dessert; and occasionally, a small sign of gratefulness on the part of our kids for all we do for them.
“Did you wash my soccer uniform?”
The gratefulness is found in tone and inflection, and may be a matter of interpretation.
Early on I learned to take my joys in little things, since the big things like Mother’s Day, Christmas, and my birthday only came once a year. Some days it was a thrill to take seven forks out of the silverware drawer and find them all clean. You may think that’s a bit pathetic, but you have to understand that it might have been year and a half since I’d taken a single clean fork out of the drawer and finding seven was like winning a Lotto jackpot.
Other days it was a thrill to tell the kids to start cleaning their rooms while I made a quick trip to the store and come home to find them actually doing it.
Another universal thrill for all mothers is to discover some random afternoon that we have fifteen full minutes to ourselves to do anything we want. As any experienced mother can tell you, there are all sorts of things one can accomplish in fifteen minutes. You can take half a bath. You can read twenty-two and a third pages in a book. You can start that letter you’ve been promising your sister for the last two years and hope that none of the news becomes ancient history by the time you finish it.
Or how about when we ask our kids who ate the last piece of cake, and one of them answers, “I did.”
If and when this ever happens to you, be very careful how you react. If your husband comes home from work and finds you wandering around the house in a daze with a silly grin on your face, he may lock the liquor cabinet, reserve a room in your name at the nearest mental hospital, or both.