I knew the next day was going to be a doozy when Hayden woke me at midnight, fresh from the latest fab Bar Mitzvah to tell me, “Don’t forget to sleep in tomorrow — it’s Mother’s Day!”
I woke at 6:30 like usual to make myself some coffee and write in my journal. Nice. I then returned to bed to wait for three and a half hours for my breakfast in bed. Chris had to run to the store for bagels. I was getting crabby.
When it finally arrived, the breakfast was a bust, because the kids tussled on my lap and on top of the bagels and lox, sending the cream cheese flying all over my dresser and rug.
I couldn’t have eaten much any way because Charlotte was forcing a manicure on me. Catherine replenished my lukewarm coffee. She did affix a Post-It to the mug with the handwritten words, “Best Mom EVER!”
I did not want another fight so I told the kids, “You don’t have to come to church. But I’m going.” I set out alone, which is actually a decent way to spend Mother’s Day. When I got to the back of the sanctuary though I missed the family, so I called and whispered, “Please come to church. Your friends are here.” And they did.
The sermon was about seeing the Bible as poetry and not as a textbook. The day was getting better. I called my Mom. I read the Times. I checked Facebook. I did laundry.
I was thinking about being alone as I made Mother’s Day dinner — pasta primavera and toasted bagels. I told the kids, “I may be cooking, but you’re cleaning up.” They did. They did it badly, but they did it.
As a present to myself that night, I made my reservations to join my book club weekend in San Francisco next month. Every Mom deserves a break, not just that one Sunday in May. And while I do love my kids snuggling me in bed, I also love my aloneness and my friends.
I wrote this during Donna Schaper’s lunch time class offered today at Global Ministries. It was about finding Sabbath at work. I had been to another class of hers on Sacred Chow a couple of months ago http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/sacred-chow/