May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Madness

This post is dedicated to my mother, whom I first met at my birth. Mom had three daughters in all, but the other two are duds. Regardless, she and Dad provided us with a happy childhood, and she sacrificed for us her whole life. She even learned to cook well after I moved out of the house. You can’t ask for more. Thanks for everything, Mom! We love you. 

This is what my sons would look like if they were dogs.
When I was a teenager, I saw a mom with a baby in her arms and two active youngsters in tow. Though they were little fireballs of energy, she was totally calm and even looked fabulous. “I want to be like that when I get old,” I thought.
Fast forward 30 years, and I realize I’m nothing like that woman. In fact, I hate her. I’d punch her if I saw her today.

What happened to me? I had dreams of being a cool mom. Someone whose presence creates calmness, who little children enjoy, who peers come to for wisdom. Instead, I’m tense, paranoid (only because everyone is out to get me), and people generally avoid me. Even my dumb friends at the Quickie Mart (shout out to Dodie and Lola) keep their distance, as if I have head lice. Which I don’t anymore.
But my husband said I’m a great mom because I love my kids and have done my best to raise them. It’s true. I’ve raised three wonderful sons who still have all their limbs and several shirts, and I call that a win.

How about you mothers? Are you terrific moms like me? What did you do on Mother’s Day?

I just wanted to relax. I asked my family to take me to my favorite restaurant for dinner. Of course, none of my sons bothered to make reservations, so I had to place the call myself, only to learn the restaurant was fully booked for Mother’s Day. As I hung up the phone disappointed, my eyes shot bullets of rage at my sons. They tried to scatter, but I shoved my youngest child to the ground in a fury (the weakest of the boys thanks to a leg brace) and screamed, “Now you owe me!” 

I told the kids they needed to enter me in a Mother’s Day contest at the local pizzeria to win us one free pizza a week for a year. All they had to do is submit a few sentences saying why I am the best mom ever. 
I've heard that even bears can be mothers.
But Hans and Roberto had a hard time describing me without using words like nag, scream, angry, and condescending. And Raphael had trouble describing me with any words at all, on account of his illiteracy. 

I got fed up with their whining. “Listen, I’ve worked my fingers to the bone for you kids, and I've EARNED that free meal every week, so you'd better think hard if you ever want to eat again!” I threatened. I suggested more positive adjectives, “patient, charming, fun-loving,” but one of my sons read the rules, which said the essays can’t be fictional.

My friend Kibbie suggested I tell the boys to write about the kind of mom they would have liked to have had. She said maybe the kids had trouble writing because sometimes I act demanding and unreasonable. I set her car on fire. Who's unreasonable now, Kibbie? 

Anyhow, somehow the boys were motivated to write. The youngest son ostensibly wrote about me, but I have a sneaky suspicion he was just sucking up to the judges: “My mom is the best mom ever because she is cheesy and thick, like your fresh, delicious pizzas. Every time I think of them, it warms my heart and makes me proud I’m Italian, like you fine pizzeria owners. And that's why I love my mom.” 

The oldest son played to the judges’ sympathies. “My brothers and I are so, so hungry. For the love of God, please let us win this contest. Any food you could spare would be much appreciated.” 

The middle son, Raphael, sat on the sofa and perused his picture book, which kept him occupied the rest of the night.

Still, I realized that if two of my sons racked their brains for several days to come up with such beautiful essays about me, I must be a pretty awesome mom. Now this might have already been obvious to you, gentle reader, but sometimes even I need a reminder how great I am.

Anyway, I hope all you awesome moms out there (but not the lesser moms) had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Your pal,