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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It takes courage to raise children...

As it's now May, I've been thinking about Mother's Day, which, as most of us know, is coming up in a couple of weeks. Most years, I pick my own day. My family, well meaning thought 2/3rds of them may be, are busy, and broke, and then, of course, there's the annual "you're not MY mother" from the hubster. Yeah, whatever, dude...

My older son, who struggles with learning disabilities and a mother who should be doing more for him, is sweet and kind and well meaning and has lots of ideas, but no money. My younger does not struggle with autism but the rest of it is pretty much the same. I keep telling them..."hey...know what I really want for Mother's Day? I want someone else to do the laundry. Or maybe I can get up and find my kitchen looks like something out of House Beautiful. Clean the toilet for me. I really don't need the corsage and the prix fixe meal thing."

Now I've planned a couple of nice Mother's Days for myself, but it seems weird to plan one's own party. A few years ago I decided I wanted to go to Hearst Castle and tour the gardens. It was pretty awesome, I've got to say. Now, granted, I'm one of those people who has no qualms about driving four hours up and four hours back, which helps. I dunno, gardens seemed a sort of Mother's Dayish thing to do and it was lovely. I also used to stomp my little foot and demand a trip to Vegas. That used to be hella fun because Mother's Day wasn't a big "let's go to Vegas day" and the rates were cheap. Alas, that is no more...seems there are a lot of mother's who want three hours unmolested in front of a nickle slot machine.

Mother's Day falls smack in the middle of a six week funk for me. It starts with my mother's birthday at the end of April, chugs along to Mother's Day, meanders through my birthday and eventually comes to a halt on the 4th of July which is, unfortunately, the anniversary of my mother's death. She would, you know. She totally would do that.

We had a rather contentious relationship, which may have something to so with my still mixed up feelings. Well, anyway, I've been wondering what to do on Mother's Day this year and figured that I'll probably end up doing what we've been doing for the last few years, which is nothing. The boys will say "Happy Mother's Day" and "I'm really sorry I'm broke and can't get you anything" and the hubster won't even do that much. Sort of like my birthday, wedding anniversary and Christmas, but I digress...

It's with this looming large that I found myself thinking about someone I used to know and, as it turns out, wasted my time on. But this woman is now (I'm sure of it, I see no reason she might have changed) planning a large Mother's Day bash, as her house, in honor of her. Her husband and three sons will be given their marching orders, as will her mother and mother-in-law. I'll give her this, she's pretty up front with her "HEY! YOU! It's all about ME" attitude. If her mother wishes to have any sort of Mother's Day from her daughter, well, she can just hie her skinny ass to over there. Because this woman is firm in her belief that everything is all about her. She posts this regularly, btw. Someone over there on the message board from hell will ask about Mother's Day plans and she will, in an oh so perky manner, post several paragraphs saying how she used to get stuck doing things for her mother and mother in law until she finally pulled up her perky big girl panties and slammed her perky flat foot down and announced "NO. It's all for ME! You want me, you come here!" Here being somewhere just east of nowhere and slightly south of "who the hell would want to live HERE?"

I mentioned to her, once upon a time, that I used to feel kind of used and pulled apart and I would wonder when it would be MY turn. Well, 12 years ago my mother died and 8 years ago my mother in law died and it WAS my turn. And I said she should suck it up and act like a decent human being because one of these days she would find herself with no one to order to her little tract house.

She informed me none of that mattered, because it's her turn now.

Really?   Look up "selfish cow" in the dictionary, you'll find her picture.

I'd like to say I'll be thinking of her on Mother's Day, and feeling sorry for her. Because one of these days she's going to be as alone as it gets. While she's screaming at people demanding they come and honor HER and marching her unwilling kids into some backwoods desert department store choosing just the right sort of bath salts for them to give her, I'll be sleeping in. We're stone broke, there's wont be much of anything except the normal greetings and apologies for being broke. But it's okay.

Because my kids aren't under indictment. They're well liked, MORE than well liked. A few weeks ago when I woke up at 4am with a fever and chills they regularly came in with tea and water and aspirin and meatball subs and hugs. My older cheerfully walked down to the local mini mart when I said I really wanted some 7 UP.

They say "Please" and "Thank You." They're not in therapy and they have no behavioral problems. They're hard workers and are kind to strangers. They help their grandfather. They're funny and interesting and sometimes, when they decided to do something like go to an early, cheap movie they invite me along.

So maybe Mother's Day will sort of slide by. And I won't demand that I be treated like a Queen because, well, a) that's not the way I was raised, I'm not comfortable demanding. I prefer whining. ;)

I told my former friend once that I always resented taking the requisite flowers to the requisite mothers homes and I used to hope some day I would be the one sitting around, waiting for someone to remember me. Now, I still take the requisite flowers to the requisite mothers - except it's not as time consuming. A couple of calls to a couple of flower shops at the couple of cemeteries and I'm done. She didn't get it. She never will. More's the pity.

I dunno...maybe Mother's Day is overrated. On the whole, my kids treat me pretty well. They're forgetful and broke and too busy for words. But they make me proud of them. And that is probably the best Mother's Day gift I could ever hope for. Sure beats a command performance brunch anyway.

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