Friday, May 9, 2008

Oh, the Irony

Sunday is Mother's Day, and my little boys have been busy at school making heartfelt homemade gifts that are sure to make me cry. Declan's teachers went so far as to write down verbatim what the kids love about their moms. Declan wrote:

Mommy takes me to drama class and I love that and to soccer too. Mommy tickles me. Mommy is going to give me Molly and I'm going to be a big brother to 2 kids. She made me matzoh pizza, and it was soo good. Mommy reads me books. Mommy gives me swords and I pretend they're weapons, but only at home. I love mommy's kisses.

Too cute, right? That's why I feel so guilty about what I really want for Mother's Day: a day without my kids.

Ironic, isn't it? The day on which we honor moms for all they do, and now that I'm a mom, I know the truth: moms just want some time to themselves.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Some friends of mine are organizing a Mother's Day eve outing Saturday night, with the dads the ones getting to spend some QT with the little ones while the moms go out for massages and Chinese food.

I love being a mom, I really and truly do. But I love it even more when I get a break from my kids, when I can think about them through rose-colored lenses and forget about the whining and hitting and fighting and screaming and did I say whining?

When Amy and I were kids, each year we'd ask Mom what she wanted for Mother's Day and each year she'd say, "All I want is a day without you two fighting." Since that was never going to happen, we gave her the next best thing: animal-shaped candles and coffee made with hot water from the tap. And Mom always smiled and acted like she really liked the kitten candle and pretended to drink the coffee.

This year, I'm sure, Matty will get up early with the boys and let me sleep in (as much as I can with an 18-pound bowling ball on my belly). He'll guide them in preparing real coffee and bring it to me in bed, along with the handicrafts from school that I promised them I wouldn't open until Sunday. And for a few wondrous moments, we'll all snuggle in our big bed and give each other lots of kisses and giggles and feel like a Hallmark family.

But then, Ronan will "accidentally" kick Declan in the head. He might even take off his diaper and poop on the floor, like he did this morning. Declan will give Ronan an "affectionate" smack on the cheek, after which Ronan will try to pull Declan's pajamas off by the neck. Declan will cry that Ronan gets to lay down closer to me, and then Ronan will cry because... well, just because.

And Matty, in all his infinite goodness and patience, will take the boys away to calm down and let me enjoy a little bit of quiet solitude, the best present I could ask for...

(although a gift certificate for a massage is good, too)

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