My friend asked me on Sunday afternoon if the kids were coming over to make me a special Mother's Day dinner.
"Well actually," I answered, "I won't see any of them today, but Tony is cooking for his mom, his sister and me."
She says something pleasant of which I don't remember.
"And you? A special Mother's Day dinner?"
My friend goes into thoughtful, mother mode with a tone of......reprimand. "Well," she says, "they are all coming over for dinner, but no one thought to plan a meal for me, so I'm serving them hot dogs. That's what you get when mother has to cook on Mother's Day."
"You should make them stand out in the rain and cook those hot dogs over the fire pit."
We have a good laugh, but the joke is based on some well deserved mother-revenge.
I hope her children get the message.
Though I did not share this day with my own children, I am still profoundly grateful for their devotion, love and most especially that we have a relationship where they can confidently attend to other duties on this day--there are no worries Mom will come unglued if they're not serving my immediate Mother's Day needs. One daughter is in another state; another daughter is enjoying her day as the queen of her own small tribe; another daughter needed the time to pack and leave for a foreign excursion; and the baby, whom we just spent a week with, needed to be with her mother-in-law. I truly rejoiced in our relationships that freed, even encouraged the girls to spend their time elsewhere.
Dinner turned out to be a quiet, sit down affair with lovely adult conversation exploring deep and fascinating subjects. Clean up was easy, fast, and my sister-in-law, also childless on this mother's day, leaned close when I mentioned taboo words for a loving mother: "This was nice. Next time we'll have to call the kids and tell them to stay home."
Oh the conflicting feelings of motherhood.