Mine was the best ever (with the possible exception of the first one I got to spend as a mother with a five month old baby Aden in my arms, because there is nothing quite like certain firsts). It was a day filled with lots of nice moments and bookended with movies.
My kids made me breakfast in bed, which as sweet as it was, actually put me in an uncomfortable quandary.
They have breakfast in bed down to a kind of science, where they know to clean up the kitchen as part of the present, and they give thought to what might be too messy (for instance, they always serve me water in a water bottle to avoid spills). This morning they served me this:
That's a bowl of clementines all peeled, and a couple of slices of something we call a David Eyer Pancake (that they baked themselves) along with an overabundance of powdered sugar on the side to sprinkle on it. (There is also the aforementioned water bottle, a little bouquet of things from our front garden, and the appropriate silverware and a napkin all on a tray that belonged to my grandmother. This is several steps up from when Aden was three and she served me an uncooked egg in the shell with a fork a flower.)
So what was the quandary? Well, I'm doing 30 days again of no grains, dairy, legumes, or sugar. I fell off that 'paleo' diet wagon a couple of months ago and my weight started to creep back up and my headaches returned. I miss bread and cheese and chocolate but I can't take the headaches anymore. I want to do a whole month off of those items again and then experiment with adding things back one at a time so I can pinpoint what my problem might be. I'm on Day 13. And my adorable children specially cooked me a meal of flour mixed with milk and garnished with pure sugar. Do I choose my own self-imposed food rules, or create a Mother's Day exception?
I really agonized. And then I told them I couldn't eat it. I thanked them, and ate the clementines, and then asked if I could feed the David Eyer Pancake to them instead, which turned out to be fun. I haven't lifted a fork to any of their mouths in years, so they pretended they were little birds and each took turns having bites until the plate was clean. Then Aden made me an omelet--with a tiny bit of cheese. That I decided to make an exception for because come on. (Cheese was the first thing I was going to add back into my diet anyway, so why not.)
I also got some amazing gifts:
Quinn made me a tissue flower, Mona let me have the duct tape 'angel dragon' she made a couple of weeks ago that I've been admiring, and Aden bought a watch from Target and replaced the band with one she crocheted herself. They all pitched in to make the card. I don't even know how to describe how much I love all of this.
Next we sat on my bed and folded laundry while watching episodes of Phineas and Ferb. (We call these "Fold Phineas and Ferb Parties" and it makes laundry a pretty enjoyable event in our house.)
Then I made all the kids get out of my bed for a while and gave some thought to what I would like to do that would be just for me for a change. And I picked archery. I took archery lessons back in 2005 just because it was always something I wanted to try, and I loved it. Aden used to come with me in her pretty little dresses and help collect my arrows out of the hay bale targets at the public park and it was so cute. But then Ian got deployed and that was the end of that. My bow and arrows have been gathering dust ever since.
|Using the bow stringer|
So off to the park! My kids loved it there. Aden and Quinn retrieved my arrows, Mona collected broken bits of balloon from around the targets and created some pretend cooking game with them. The dog even had fun running free until it was time for me to shoot and it seemed safer to put him back on the leash. I was pleased to discover my aim is actually not bad considering how long it's been. I think next time I'm feeling down I will head back out to the range to clear my head. There's something nice about concentrating on an activity that is simple but not easy.
Perfect weather, perfect company, and I got a chance to do something with no purpose other than it's enjoyable. Can't ask for a better Mother's Day than that.
After the park we got the kids a pizza and left Aden in charge of everyone while Ian and I went to a movie. We've been experimenting more often with leaving them on their own for short stretches and they do fine. It still makes me nervous and will take some getting used to, but the idea that we have the freedom to escape to a movie from time to time is a wonderful new thing.
Now, the movies at each end of my day could not have been more different. In the morning I watched Melancholia on my laptop, and in the afternoon Ian and I went to see The Avengers in the theater. Melancholia is about the world ending with no hope of saving it and some question about whether it even matters. The Avengers is about saving the world and it's all very self-important. Melancholia moves in a slow and deliberate way, with music by Wagner to imbue everything with a gorgeous sense of tragedy, and it made me cry. The Avengers was all explosions and smashy smashy cool things to see and it made me laugh. Melancholia was calm as the world ended. The Avengers was frantic as it was saved.
I don't know if I can recommend Melancholia because it's haunting, and once you've seen it you can't unsee it. I don't want to be responsible for someone else having to ponder elements of it the way I seem to be. It's beautiful, but painful. The Avengers I would recommend purely for Hawkeye shooting aliens with arrows--sometimes without even looking (man, do I need practice!)--but also the Hulk hitting things and Robert Downey Jr being born to play Tony Stark. It's all so silly, but the best kind of silly.
My day also included cooking with my kids and my husband, watching my kids make things out of modeling chocolate, walking with them to Target, playing games with them on the computer, seeing them bike, hearing them laugh, and just being proud that I have any connection to these lovely little people at all. My life with them isn't the extremes I saw in either movie. It's just right. And I'm the luckiest mom in the world.