It is one of our typical Saturday afternoons–pick the dude up from something or other, then buy food. Buying food is a part-time occupation. Cooking it is another. This trip is a trifecta, buying groceries, getting subs, then hitting Starbucks. The dude needs his Frappuchino. While standing in the line at Safeway, the dude notices more than a few teenaged boys standing in line buying flowers.
“Is it prom already?” he says.
That is when I realize that he has no clue that tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
“Nope, I don’t think so. Maybe they’re buying them for their mothers.”
He gives me the look. “Ha ha. Very funny Mom.”
He honestly thinks that I’m yanking his chain. At least I think so. I consider for a moment that he could be yanking my chain–that he knows that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Perhaps this is all a big ruse to throw me off track.
“It’s got to be prom,” he repeats.
While we’re waiting in line at Subway, I finally break down.
“It’s not prom, you know.” He looks at me blankly. “Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, but you knew that didn’t you?” Of course he didn’t. I just wanted to see that oh crap look on his face. I’m such a good Mom.
“No joke?” I just smile. In grade school, the kids write poems and make cards. Once they hit middle school the curriculum enforced mother worship is a thing of the past. I personally think that’s why mothers stop volunteering after sixth grade. Just saying.
“That’s why your Dad is taking me out for dinner tonight.” My husband blew it the first Mother’s Day and learned his lesson. Take care of your wife. A teenaged boy is about as useful as a newborn when it comes to Mother’s Day. Dinner is cheap in comparison to a week of motherly pissed offedness.
He gives me a fist bump. “Go Dad.” After some consideration, he says, “You shouldn’t feel bad. You have that poem I wrote for you on your office wall. That’s got to count for something.”
I do love the poem. It is very cute. He wrote it in fifth grade. He forgets that it’s not on my wall anymore. He made me take it down lest someone see. “The one that mentions how much you love Kanye West?”
He shushes me. “Okay, so it’s a little old.”
I give him my saintly-mother smile. “I’d be happy to put it back up again.” The poem also mentions that I make him take out the trash. He does love me so.
We get our subs and head to Starbucks. They are running a promotion – half price Frappuchino. “I’ll buy you one,” he says as he pulls out a Starbucks gift card he got for Christmas.
As we’re waiting for our drinks, he says “You know what’s funny? You gave me that gift card, so you’re sort of buying your own coffee.”
“I feel so special,” I reply.
But the truth is, I do. I’ve just spent the last thirty minutes hanging out with my son. We spend a lot of time together. We talk over dinner and keep track of baseball scores. He pesters me while I read, and I nag him while he plays video games. It’s all good.
He puts an arm around me. “I’m hugging you in public.”
“Is there anyone you know here?” I ask.
“Of course not,” he answers.
“Dad is making me breakfast tomorrow, too,” I tell him.
“Okay,” he says. “Make sure you wake me up when it’s ready.”
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Hmmmm Frappuchino” by Jeroen Bennink © 2007 Creative Commons