19/52 – Quiet
Quiet only exists in a household with a toddler during that short afternoon nap window. It’s a brief period after lunch that can last anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours.
This Mother’s Day I was aware that the specialness of the day no longer comes directly from my kids. It doesn’t come from how they acknowledge or celebrate the important role that one of their mothers plays in their lives. If I left the meaning of Mother’s Day to depend solely on that, I’d likely be deeply disappointed.
I remember a year when we were growing up that neither my brothers nor I got my mother anything for Mother’s Day. We didn’t get her a hanging basket for the front of the house. We didn’t make her breakfast in bed. We didn’t hand her a card. I don’t even think we uttered, “Happy Mother’s Day.” She was quiet for most of the day, but eventually her disappointment got the best of her. Around midday she burst into tears and retreated to her room to have a good cry and then she pieced herself back together.
We were kids and we didn’t really get it. We knew we had done something to make her terribly sad, and that upset us, but we didn’t actually get why what we did (or rather, our lack of thoughtful action) was so hurtful. She was our mother and we loved her. Didn’t she already know that?
I keep my expectations pretty low. I guess I don’t want to be bitterly disappointed. I’m pragmatic and I know my kids love me.
My kids acknowledged me with a card. It was sweet. The card was inscribed as follows: Happy Mother’s Day. Gus we love you. Even Mr. Mooster’s (our dog) likes his new Mom. Bella and Bubaloo.
This card was given to me by my 16- and 14-year-old kids. I laughed because I didn’t have any expectations. And it’s an awfully funny card when you’re now expecting to be wooed or showered with love.
Mother’s Day for me is now about celebrating my motherhood, and celebrating my wife’s motherhood. It’s about looking at one another and honouring the pretty darn good job we’re doing raising three kids.
While the baby napped we took advantage of that rare moment of silence to slip outside and sit in the sun while sipping a cool glass of sangria. We relished the pause in our Sunday, we soaked in the quiet, and I said a little mental thanks for my mothering partnership.