I am at the sink rinsing out the small steel cups that are smeared with guacamole. “It could have used a little more salt and lime juice,” says Saathi taking his time with his share. “Amma makes the best home made guac…” trails off Ammu.
I am smiling. In the weeks Saathi was away, the children regularly told me that they enjoyed the food I made. That I was the best mom ever. Perhaps, they sensed my need for validation. Perhaps, they just had a collective epiphany.
The postal mail lies on the kitchen island. A flyer from a furniture store, a coupon from Kohls that features jewelry and gadgets on sale for Mother’s Day. I scan them, trash most of it and save the 30% off coupon.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, the kids are making plans. Plans that involve breakfast in bed, flowers and some trinket. They trekked to the local dollar store this past weekend and smuggled stuff they “bought” on their own. I am chuffed to realize my children are old enough to give in to the trappings. I am also stumped by how they decided this is what Mother’s Day is all about. As a family we have never had breakfast in bed. Ever! Flowers if any, are from people who visit us for the first time.
I play along, agreeing that they should celebrate me the way the rest of America celebrates its Mothers. It also set me thinking. Considering there is such a thing as Mother’s Day and there is no running away from it, what do I really want?
My first thought is that I need a day off. A day off not just from chores or all things motherly but from the weight I carry around on my shoulders. The thing called responsibility. That thing that wakes me before my alarm goes off. That thing that has me scrambling to fix lunches, scour for healthy snacks and stand by my children as they work on Math. It is that thing that makes me say “No! You can’t go out to the yard unless I can see you from the kitchen window.” It is that thing that gives me a minor heart attack when my children run out into the parking lot before I can lock my car and turn to them. It is that thing that has me up at night when we have difficult conversations and I am not sure if I had the right answers for them. So, yeah! a day off from thinking, worrying, caring, nurturing, cooking will be great!
Then I think I would love a good breakfast without me having to slave over it. And while we are at it, perhaps a trinket, something cheesy from my children and the father of my children will be nice. And, maybe a pedicure and a slice of cheesecake will make my day.
The truth is that probably I will settle for a hand written note from my newly turned writer children, few hundred hugs, slobbery kisses and a meal outside the home. Not bad huh?