I’m awoken gently by butterfly kisses on my cheek. I remember, as I open my eyes and stretch, that it’s Mothers Day. I see a trio of well-dressed, clean-cut teenagers standing at the foot of my bed. They’re grinning, each holding a beautifully wrapped parcel. The dogs, freshly bathed, stand next to them, panting slightly, silk bows around their necks. My husband moves forward, and before he reaches me, my youngest child darts in front of him, and grabbing one of the extra pillows, plumps it and places it behind my back. Once I’m sitting up, my man places a breakfast tray on my lap. It holds a carafe of freshly brewed Starbucks coffee, a little pitcher of skim milk a giant mug that reads, ‘I love you Mommy’, a perfectly round double poppy seed Bagel World twister, and a snowy white scoop of light cream cheese. Exactly what I would wish for if describing my fantasy breakfast.
Waiting patiently for me to pour my first cup of the fragrant brew, the kids and the dogs, at my signal, slowly come forward to sit on the bed. One at a time, each of my babies leans in to kiss me gently and hug me as they hand me their packages,. ‘Happy Mothers Day, Mom. We love you. Oh, and we saw that laundry sitting downstairs, so we folded it all.’
The dogs, shaking with anticipation, steer far clear of my breakfast tray, as they’ve been trained. I reach out to pat each one in turn, and satisfied, they lay down and go to sleep.
My husband sits down on the bed next to me, reaches down into his night table and pulls out yet another elegantly wrapped gift. As he hands it to me, he whispers, “I love you. Thank you for giving me my children. You’re the best housekeeper and mother.’ I smile, and say, ‘OK folks, whose present should I open first?’
CRASH! I’m jolted awake from my deep sleep. I shake my head, smiling, and remembering my dream. Then I frown. Crap. It was a dream. I look around my room. No kids, no presents, no dogs. Not even a single flower in an elegant glass bud vase.
I hop out of bed, hair sticking straight up, yelling at the top of my lungs, ‘What the heck is going on?’ There’s no answer. Why? Because everyone under the age of 18 is still asleep. It seems, for all intents and purposes, that I’m alone. I run downstairs and am greeted with a scene of homesteading anarchy. One dog is guiltily standing on the counter in-between the family room and the kitchen, a bowl of last-night’s microwave popcorn dumped on the floor, and the other canine is shamelessly gobbling up the dumped snack food.
The kitchen is a huge mess, dishes are everywhere, empty wrappers and boxes are scattered across the countertops, and the dishwasher needs emptying. The TV is on in the family room, yet nobody is in there. There are all manner of crushed potato chips and cheeses littering the hardwood floors. I hear the front door open, and my husband walks in, holding a Starbucks white paper cup. Finally! ‘Hi Hon, where were you? ‘
‘I went out on the motorcycle to meet the guys. You were sleeping.’
Oh. ‘Is that for me?’ I hope against hope.
‘Ummm…’ Guilty faced, he mutters, ‘You were sleeping…I didn’t want it to get cold.’ As an afterthought, he offers, ‘Want me to go back out and get you one?”
I look at him expectantly. “It’s Sunday.’
‘SUNDAY! The second Sunday in MAY” I yell, and start clanking dishes. ‘We have to go see your mother, remember? FOR MOTHER’S DAY!’
Shamefaced, he shuffles from foot to foot. ‘Did you get her anything from me?’
I’m so mad, I feel like loading him into the dishwasher. He comes up behind me, to hug me, I think, maybe hand me the flowers or card he’s hidden behind his back. He leans in, and whispers into my ear, ‘Sorry, I didn’t get you anything. After all, you’re not my mother.’