The kids are coming home from school this week and telling me that they’re making remarkable Mother’s Day presents, but they can’t divulge any specific details (book mark) lest the surprise (flower pot) be ruined (picture frame). Fi never met a secret she could keep, and willingly told me she’s made me a bracelet and necklace. Oh goody, I do so love jewelry.
Truthfully, there’s a small part of me that thinks the best Mother’s Day gift the kids can give me would be a few days away with their father. But then I think, Who Will Love My Children?
Remember that 1980′s tear-fest, in which a destitute, dying mother of ten (Ann Margaret) has to find a home for each of her beautifully behaved farm kids before she passes?
I remember seeing it as a child, and being so awfully sad (Not quite Watership Down sad (I needed oxygen after that), or even E.T. sad, but still rather shaken). I know I can’t quite draw the parallels. But NOBODYwants to take five kids at once, or at least not these five, so I immediately think about that flick whenever I contemplate a getaway for M and me. I’d have to get on the phone and plead with various friends and relatives, starting with the more challenging kids first, knowing that some will be far easier to place than others. And thanks to this blog, I could never get away with the kind of lying I’d have gladly done before: She eats anything you put in front of her. He’s an absolute angel, you won’t know he’s there! Don’t be afraid of those pointy, buck teeth – she’s never bit anyone.
We are off to Portland this Mother’s Day to see M’s family, so although I will technically be in a hotel with him, we will also be in a room, and likely even a bed, with all five kids. Actually, we are off to what we now refer to as the “I love my penis hotel,” thanks to an unfortunate incident many years ago involving the boys (then only toddlers) screaming inappropriate songs while jumping on the beds... at 5 am. And, oh yes, I even got a phone call from the front desk. (It’s a wonder they let us back in there.) I am assuming that unless we’ve been thrown out, Mother’s Day brunch will be whatever they can convince me to eat from the free hotel breakfast. (I’ll make sure to eat in a bed, just so I feel special.)
I won’t fret if it’s not what I had in mind for Mother’s Day, because I always have Father’s Day. It took a few years, but M figured out that under my reign, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are barely distinguishable. On Mother’s Day, it’s important that I spend a sizable amount of time completely alone... you know, once the various children who spend the night in my bed have left and I’ve been served cold oatmeal and weak coffee and opened an assortment of delightful handmade presents. On Father’s Day, I coyly insist that what M wants more than anything is both quality and quantity time with his offspring, and I plan the day accordingly.
In short, both days involve me lying down in a quiet, dark room and M loading 35 bikes onto the back of the car and pulling the kids off each other while they fight about who sits where.
Happy Mother’s Day to me…. and to all of you.
About Lea Geller
I’m a part-time lawyer, full time mother of five (ages nine and down)… Currently in sunny Seattle. People ask how I manage it all, and I like to say that I do lots of things, but none of them very well. That’s my secret…. In a house of seven strong, distinct personalities, I always seem to have a story to tell. I suppose I got tired of people telling me, ‘You have to write this down!” So, I finally did, and blogging about our large mishaps, small triumphs, and other adventures, has helped hold my sanity together, albeit loosely. Check out the rest of Lea's family's adventures on her blog, This Is the Corner We Pee In.