I should probably skip past the part where I went out for milk on Saturday night (eve of Mother’s Day) and bought not only the milk, but a novel I had no official reason to read and a pint of Hagen Daz. I certainly shouldn’t admit I sat in the grocery store “bistro” for over an hour, ate the entire pint and read most of the book. Sadly, it wasn’t the flavor of Hagen Daz I thought it was and I didn’t even like it that much. But more than the guilt I’d have felt buying another pint, I was too exhausted to make the trek back to the other side of the store to get it.
But I shouldn’t tell that story, because I have everything.
I have the cutest little girl who gave me a big-cheeked smile and said “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” as I came down the stairs Sunday morning and a wonderful, hilarious, talented husband (aka The Oppressor) who coached her to say it and then made chocolate chip pancakes for us all.
I have a great little dog who thinks he is my firstborn.
I have my grandmother, Fast Eddy, who is 92 and danced all night at my brother’s wedding in March. She still plays on the floor with my daughter, reads umpteen newspapers a day, makes her own wine and is ready at any moment with a wink and a highly quotable zinger.
I have my mom. We finish each other’s sentences. She will drop everything to come to my rescue, held my hand through labor (The Oppressor was rubbing my back) not to mention every childhood illness and a variety of heartbreaks over the years. I have held hers too. And now I see how she loves my little girl and it slays me because in this I can see how she must have loved me too. And how she must love me now, all these years later, after living through so much together.
And I have my book—another kind of baby coming into the world. What this means to me cannot be described, even though I am a writer and should theoretically be able to do it.
I have everything.
But it must be noted (for all mothers) that “everything” can be an exhausting thing to have.
Everything can include a sick toddler followed by a puking dog at 4 am, three days in a row. Everything can include no time to finish the next book, food rotting in the fridge, laundry piling up, fatigue so deep you stop thinking clearly, lose the ability to prioritize, stare at your computer screen all day trying not to rub your damned itchy right eye. Having everything may mean you need to spend a Saturday evening in the grocery store with too much ice cream and a good book, just for some time to yourself.
Happy Mother’s Day Week, to every kind of mama.