Saturday, May 9, 2015

All Mom All Week (oh - and Dad, too)

This week has been an offspring’s worst nightmare. Our wedding anniversary was this past Tuesday, my birthday was Friday, and tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It’s a triple whammy for my daughters, who really do try to rise to the occasion (in this case, occasions) and come up with cards and gifts for at least two of those events.

One of the most wonderful things my family has done over the years is to donate to a charity that is near and dear to my heart in honor of this frenzy of Mom activity. I love it and I’m always touched to the point of tears when I receive a certificate celebrating their gift. That should be generous enough, right? Well, yes. Seriously, I mean it.

Except I really need a heating pad.

The thing is, I am years past the hinting stage. These days subtlety gets shoved aside for specific requests. Often a website link is even mysteriously emailed to both children and their father for guidance. Would I trust them to order the correct size and color of my next heating pad? I think not.

I’m perfectly content with receiving just one well thought out gift (that they followed my directions to order). It doesn’t have to be something for our anniversary, my birthday, and Mother’s Day… unless they really want to shower me with several items to demonstrate their adoration. I’m certainly not ungrateful enough to turn away such generosity.

I’m also not insane. If I can get away with having someone else make one breakfast and maybe one dinner during this six-day period of my self-appointed Queendom, I’ll feel like I’ve been given a golden ticket.

More often than not, having so many momentous celebrations in a short period of time can backfire. It’s like having your birthday on December 20 - chances are slim those presents are going to be doubled up. You can’t really request two big-ticket items too close together, so that means having to suggest that the family celebrates another holiday of sorts around June or July – like National Doughnut Day or Compliment Your Mirror Day.

Let’s talk about the anniversary for a moment. After 31 years we tend to wait until the last minute to choose the right card to express our feelings. In fact, as I write this column the night before our anniversary, Spouse has dragged Second Born (freshly home from college for the summer) with him in pursuit of the perfect sentiment. I didn’t even try to look clueless as they walked out the door after dinner. By the way, I was way ahead of the game… I picked up a card hours earlier.

We’re fine with not having an extravagant celebration on our anniversary. It’s fun to go out to dinner or plan some interesting outing, and we have done so on occasion over the years. There are some years, like this one for instance, where our day falls smack in the middle of a work week. Considering our weekday starts at 5 a.m., I think we’ll probably both be happy to get take-out and relax while watching NCIS.

We also don’t expect our children to necessarily kick in for this occasion – it’s ours alone, though we always do enjoy the creative messages they write on our cards.

If anyone happens to ask what I would like to do this week, I may suggest a drive for some local ice cream as part of our wild and crazy festivities. I also have my eye on some plants for the front yard, and maybe we can take a ride to the mall for some of my favorite candles. I know it sounds like I’m trying to get the most out of having thrice the reason to be spoiled, but I’m more realistic than that. It’s obviously not going to all happen at once.

I’ll save some for National Left Hander’s Day.

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