For you, mother, on your special day

starbucksIt 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

Mother’s Day

My son forgot Mother’s Day.  Technically, he says he didn’t, because he never knew it was Mother’s Day, therefore he couldn’t have forgotten.

It was my fault.  I didn’t tell him.  Well I did, but not early enough.

“How can you not know, dude?” I said.   Now that he’s in high school, they don’t do Mother’s Day poems or cards, so the built-in reminder is long gone. Still, can you even turn on the television or go by a store without seeing MOTHER’S DAY SALE splashed across the front?  “I bet even your smart phone knows it’s Mother’s Day.”

He snorts a “yeah right” in my direction and turns it on. Lo and behold, on the front screen it says, May 12, 2012 – Tomorrow is Mother’s Day!

“Oh.”

“That’s it?” I said. “Eighteen hours of labor and all you can give me is “oh?”

“You should have raised me better.”

I ruffled his hair.  I’m not upset.  I kind of figured he’d forget, but why pass up an opportunity to give him a hard time? It’s one of the joys of parenting.

I spent Saturday evening at the bookstore (there is nothing I love more than bookstores) and when I got back, there were flowers in my office.  I know my husband got them, but that’s okay.  He neglected me on my first Mother’s Day and learned his lesson.  It never happened again.  He told my son to make a card, which he did, apparently under duress.  It’s a sheet of typing paper.  He’s written in pencil.

Happy Mother’s Day

You think I forgot…

How sweet, I’m thinking.  He really played it cool.  I feel guilty for giving him a hard time, even in jest, for forgetting Mother’s Day.  I open the card, ready for something sweet like, you rock, or you’re awesome, or something like that. Nope.

…I did.  Sorry.

All I have to say is Happy Mother’s Day.

He didn’t sign it.

I said thank you anyway. “Lovely flowers.”

“Dad bought them.”

I smiled at my husband.

“But he made me pay for them.”

I gave my husband the thumbs up. Then, my son walked over and gave me a hug, wearing the  dopey smile he saves for me.  “But I made the card myself.”

All in all, a pretty good day.

I’ve been graced twice again with the Leibster blog award.  Recognition is always so lovely. So I owe some thank yous.

First, to Claudsy, poet, foodie and traveler. What doesn’t she do? Visit Claudsy’s Blog. You’ll see what I mean.  It’s always a joy to find someone who loves language the way that she does. She’s both a reader’s writer and a writer’s writer.  Hug a poet in her honor today.  It’s a tough road to hoe–they could probably use one.

Second, to Sarah, who makes me want to move to Vermont so I can join Women Writing for Change. My friend Nina (if you haven’t seen her story on my blog, check it out, she’s an amazing woman) says that words are needles, which is so true.  They can wound or heal.  Sarah helps women use words to heal themselves, the community and the world.

Part of getting this lovely award is promising to pay it forward by nominating other blogs I love, and then they had to go and nominate all the blogs I love (especially Cindy at Everyday Underwear )!  So I need to find more.  So if you have a great blog I should check out, say so in my comments and I’ll give you a visit!

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Kaz Andrew