I had the luxury of sleeping in yesterday until I was startled out of a dream with deafening cries of “TISSUE! I NEED TISSUE!” The sudden and temporary disappearance of Max (into the bathroom or garage, I am not sure which) forced me to get out of bed in a worse mood than I’d hoped for the start of Mother’s Day. I stumbled downstairs cursing under my breath and with my eyes barely opened. “Why can’t you get your own tissue?!” I snapped at Fred who was frozen at the kitchen table with a foot-long snot hanging out his nostril. After wiping his nose I slept walked to the couch and stayed there, listening to footsteps pattering up and down the stairs and whispers ssshing back and forth. It was Mother’s Day. A surprise was looming ahead. Within minutes, I opened my eyes, feigning surprise at the two-person chorus of “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!” and presentation of flowers and cards and hugs and kisses.
I realize I loved this Mother’s Day because it was the first Mother’s Day that came from Fred. Up to now, Fred had signed the card when Daddy asked him to, or crafted the little jewelry keepsake box because his preschool teacher told him to. This year, Fred was in it, heart and soul, and he knew the significance of the day.
“Mommy, today’s the day me and Daddy take care of you.”
Here was Fred’s card in his favorite Christmas colors
He’s got it right. I’m always sitting on a chair watching.
Here he’s colored me in peach and himself in brown. He’s aware of race and culture now, but for years he thought he and his dad were African-American because of their darker coloring. I love that to him he is what he is.
This morning, as we were getting ready for school, Fred said to me, “I have another Mother’s Day surprise for you. But I can’t give it to you until Tuesday.”
“Because I have to practice.”
“Wow! Practice? Is it a song? a poem?”
“No. On that day you have to get in the bathtub with me, and shampoo.”
Oh goodness. Should I be nervous?
And so my celebration continues. With Fred in my life, everyday will be Mother’s Day.