It came a little while ago. The call that...the first few years you're a mom? Makes you smile and get all soft inside. A few years later, the call makes you feel appreciated but you also close your eyes and take a deep breath...as you remind yourself, they DO love you.
Then, after motherhood has lost the "new car smell" and reality and broken Waterford and left-on-all-night outdoor water faucets have introduced you to reality, as opposed to baby powder sweetness, motherhood takes on a WHOLE new meaning.
Meaning as in, to my kids? "You owe me your soul for as long as I walk this planet. And I intend to collect."
They called a little while ago. The Phone Call. The Nice Kid said, "Mom, we're cooking out for Mother's Day. What do you want?"
WE ARE NOT.
There will be NO food prepared in THIS house for the entire time frame that constitutes Mother's Day. Ain't gonna happen; no way, no how. And considering that we've been parenting for going-on 29 years? SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE PICKING UP ON THIS.
WE are cooking out translates into: Mom. We bought meat. Marinate it. Shape some bread to rise and preheat the oven. When the meat has marinated, light the grill, put the meat on a tray, lay out the tongs and set it on the counter. While the rest of us are outside throwing football and kicking soccer and looking for worms for the chickens, wash some lettuce and cook some bacon for a salad. Remind someone to put the meat on the grill. Wash and cube some potatoes, go outside and cut some rosemary and then come inside and watch the oven while you oven-roast the potatoes. Remind someone to watch the meat on the grill.
Oh, yeah. We need dessert. Run to Foodland and buy a blackberry cobbler, and make sure you get a little thing of ice cream to go with it. If they don't have vanilla bean ice cream, then go to the OTHER Foodland to get some. It's only nine miles. Don't worry about the meat...the grill went out and no one else knows how to light it. We'll wait.
Every mother on here is sitting in front of the computer nodding her head. Every husband and child is wondering what in HELL is wrong with me and why I'm so cranky and hard to please.
"We were just trying to be nice!"
So here it is...presented in black and white and simple language:
Take out. Or a restaurant in the middle of the afternoon. (Avoid, at all costs, The Church Crowd, which food service people will tell you is the stingiest, meanest, most demanding single group of people on the planet.) Let someone else wash the lettuce and let someone else set the table and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL...
Let Someone Else Clean It Up.
I assure you your mother will thank you. And she'll love you a little bit more than she did. I promise.
Monday update...HOW COOL IS THIS?!!! And the irony of the "perfect family" picture and the "real family" picture is not lost on me. They have no booze, no mis-behavin' kids and...good Lord...at what point in time do you point your toes like that? That's just weird.
I will point out here that we are missing 50% of the family contingency. They were at the country club. There's a reason we WEREN'T!