The night before Mother’s Day, we went to a party. Gabriella surprised me with my Mother’s Day gift - a gorgeously funky necklace I had spotted in a friend’s shop. Gabriella decided to present it to me that night to wear to the party rather than wait until the next morning. I was ready with my new necklace, my lippy and my good bra.
Alcohol, karaoke, alcohol, nibbles, raffle prizes, alcohol and also some booze. No sweat, I thought to myself. It’s Gabriella’s turn to take Asher to Sunday school in the morning, and I’ll be able to sleep in. And when she leaves in the morning to take our child to Sunday school, she may fetch me a hot beverage and a bagel and set everything on a tray with the New York Times and a single flower and deliver my breakfast to me in bed.
Before we left, I confirmed our assignments for the next day.
“So you’ll be getting up tomorrow then, right?”
She expelled a grunted affirmation, which was all I needed, and I was ready to PAR-TAY!
The night before Mother’s Day, I was a fool.
I bargained my Mother’s Day morning away.
When we got home we paid the sitter and got ready for bed. I should say I paid the sitter. There are night-out rules. Gabriella drives home. If we have to stop for cash for the sitter, I get out of the car and make the withdrawal. And then, I pay the sitter regardless of my state at the end of a long evening while Gabriella goes directly to bed. These are our jobs-never to be reassigned. I've tried. On that night, the night before Mother’s Day, I was giddy and silly and wired. I didn’t want the night to end, so I made a deal with Gabriella. Stay up with me, I begged, and I will take Asher in the morning. We stayed up and … talked.
That morning, I thought to myself, She may not remember our deal. Or even better, she may remember our deal but allow me to back out given my vulnerable state last night. She may offer to take Asher to Sunday school because she knows in her heart that it is her turn and because she wants to show me how giving and selfless she can be on Mother’s Day.
That morning, the morning after the night before, I was a fool.
Are you really going to make me get up? I asked with a whimper. Yes, she answered. And, she added, you can pick me up a coffee on your way back. I did not argue. I berated my tired, beaten self, made breakfast for the boys and took Asher to Sunday school.
As soon as I got home, I placed a coffee, a bagel and the New York Times Magazine on a tray and brought Gabriella her Mother’s Day breakfast in bed. No flower. I do have some limits.
I crawled back into bed and fell half-way asleep and dreaming weird dreams about the apron of our driveway that needs repair and a flat screen television that someone had affixed to our bedroom ceiling – most likely a result of Levi watching television at Senior Citizen Volume in the room next door.
After my failed attempt to sleep, I finally accepted that I had to get up and celebrate Mother’s Day with the boys. It was their day, after all. It was their day to give us gifts and receive gushing praise for their efforts and go out to eat at their favorite restaurant – the one that makes the best macaroni and cheese according to them.
They were busting with pride as they presented their gifts. Levi made a placemat at school decorated on both sides for each of his mothers. At Sunday school, Asher created two booklets of coupons for each of us. See if you can match the booklet to the mother.
In one: Good for watching “chopt” (Chopped). Good for playing. Good for cooking help.
In the other: Good for a hug. Good for no complaining. Good for no “fiting” (fighting).
Mommy received a beautiful serving platter that Asher selected because it reminded him of Food Network’s Chopped. He wanted Mommy to have a place to put her culinary creations. Presentation is everything. This from a boy who insists on wearing a tie to school every day – except Fridays which I have declared Casual Fridays.
Finally, after keeping our published project under wraps for what seemed like an eternity, we presented Mommy with our Snapfish photo book. The boys flipped through the book as if they were seeing it for the first time. Asher read the captions aloud, and Levi pointed to each picture and giggled. Mommy tried to soak in every page though the boys were too excited to allow her to take her time. Full disclosure, she knew she would receive a photo book. I mean, she does read the blog, after all. But, she did not know which photos we had selected or how we would arrange them or what the boys had to say about Mommy. As anticipated, she cooed and kvelled and the boys were very pleased with themselves.
On balance, Mother’s Day was in the black. There was whining and squabbling and yelling…and the boys misbehaved too. Mostly, there was love and appreciation, and Mom and Mommy scored big on the gifts.
After a long day preceded by a long night, I was ready for bed – but not before I revisited that balance sheet once more. My sober self is a far better negotiator than my inebriated self, and I secured the rights to both mornings this coming weekend. Sometimes, there is justice in the world.