Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

The optimistic viewpoint, recognizing the positives: Mama and Daddy are glad this is a recurring holiday, because that means Daddy has opportunity after opportunity to do a better job in coming years.


Yesterday was one of those life-gets-ahead-of-you-and-suddenly-everything-is-confused-and-tense kind of days.

Brian went out shopping at the end of last week for Mother's Day cards, and I remember thinking how sweet it was when he came home and showed me one, pulling it out carefully from the bag and only giving me that. one. card. Because surely he had a card for me in that little baggie, too, right?

Fast forward to Sunday morning, when Cayden woke Mama at 4 a.m. for a quick snack, then again at 6:45, when he came into the family bed for an hour before assuring all parties involved he was ready for the day at 8. Mama had a glass too much wine Saturday night, watching trashy TV at home while Daddy played Risk with friends, (Yes, my 31-year old husband and his adult friends played a board game on a Saturday night until 10:30 p.m.) so she suffered through a headache all Sunday morning, adding insult to injury you'll discover below.

The morning progressed through cleaning, cooking, preparing for the work week, prepping the baby's things for the week and a variety of other chores. Three-and-a-half hours flew by without so much as a recognition of my first Mother's Day, before we had to load the car for the trip to Brian's parents house, where we were helping coordinate a Mother's Day lunch for his mom and grandma.

So I quietly festered all morning, repeatedly thinking to myself, "He can't really have forgotten; he's so thoughtful with this kind of stuff. Maybe he's got some kind of surprise planned. He had to have seen the Mother's Day card from my parents, sitting out in the open on the kitchen counter."

So we jump in the car and head out, when Brian turns to me and says, "Sorry I forgot to wish you a happy Mother's Day this morning. This is new for me. You've never been a mom on Mother's Day before." So I thanked him for the apology, then sat in stunned silence, as I realized he had forgotten. No card, no flowers, no special-ness at all. I was hurt and disappointed.

Then the check out clerk and the door checker at Costco wished me a Happy Mother's Day, which made me even more upset. Complete strangers wished me a Happy first Mother's Day, but my beloved partner forgot. Sucky, sucky morning.

So we celebrated Mother's Day with a big lunch at Brian's parents' house. When Brian's mom asked me what Brian did for my first Mother's Day, she was horrified to hear not much.

Finally, the day winds to a close and we head back home to give Chicken his dinner and get him ready for bed. As I got the baby dinner out, Brian told me he wanted to feed Cayden, and that I could take the dirty diapers into the nursery and take care of them. Great, I thought. What a fitting end to a disappointing day.

And then I walked into the nursery and found my card on the changing table. It was the most perfect, most beautiful first Mother's Day card I could imagine. It made me cry immediately, both for the beautiful words therein and for the fact that my love didn't forget. I knew he couldn't have.

Turns out his plan just went awry first thing in the morning. He had intended to bring Cayden into bed in that morning, letting him hand me my Mother's Day card before I even got out of bed. You know, the perfect scene from a movie where Daddy sneaks out of bed, careful not to wake Mama, and lets the baby gnaw the corner of the card just long enough to add his own personal "signature", but not so long as he ingests too much ink or paper. Then the music swells just as baby's little fingers tickle Mommy awake with the card in-hand, and the whole family of four (since Spike the cat is snuggling into the scene, too) cuddles under the covers to start Mama's first Mother's Day with a beautiful card, the perfect sentiment and kisses all around.

Instead, my headache prevented me from sleeping after 4 a.m., so I got the baby as soon as I heard him rustling the second time. And then Brian couldn't figure out the right time to give me the card after that, befuddled that his plan was foiled and amidst the morning of pissy chores. So the more and more sad I got all day, the more and more sorry and uncomfortable Brian became, knowing the whole time there was this perfect card awaiting, if only he could find the perfect, meaningful moment to deliver it.

In the end, it was a good day spent with family, and I got a card I will cherish for many, many years. I also got a promise from Brian that holidays will be recognized and surprises delivered as early as possible in the mornings from now on. No matter how plans are thrown off by the unexpected.

We're all still learning and loving together, and that makes me smile.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Don't feel bad, Liz. Your father has NEVER, in 30 years, recognized Mother's Day for me. When I used to ask him about it, his response was "You're not my mother!" The only card I got this year was from you!