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 Spilling Mother's Day
 

My son didn't want me to come to his second grade Mother's Day Tea.
At first, he told me not to come because "It was stupid."

Next, he said both of us shouldn't go, instead we should spend the morning together at home playing hockey.

When that didn't work, he said I could go, but he was going to be sick that day.
I asked him what was with all of the excuses. I imagined the worst: maybe "Mother's Day Tea" was code for "Parental intervention." Maybe I'd discover that there was a gold engraved plaque bearing his name on the Time Out Chair. Perhaps he hadn't really been going to school at all this year, and was really playing three-card Monte in the park for tourists. With this kid, anything is possible.

Finally, he admitted, "It's just too sad of a song we're singing, okay?"
I wondered what the lyrics could possibly be to elicit such sadness from an 8 year-old boy on Mother's Day. I imagined a medley of The Deer Hunter, and Old Yeller sung a cappella by Joan Crawford. He wouldn't say, so I showed up on the morning of the Tea to a very nervous-looking face. He was on the verge of tears, trying so hard not to let them spill.

We sat at our child's desk. There were handmade gifts waiting for us: a flower in a pot, a card and a place mat. There were little cakes and glasses of punch and iced tea that our children spilled most of while trying so hard not to.

The kids lined up in front of the class, and after poking each other, suppressing laughter and wiggling every molecule, they sang.

I love my Mom
My Mom loves me
She gives me care
So happily.
It makes me sad
When we're apart
But is always right here
Inside my heart.

Okay, so now it was my turn to cry and I understand a little better why I wasn't really invited. Maybe we should have played hockey instead.

So as not to embarrass him with my tears that threatened to spill although I tried so hard not to allow them, I looked down at his desk. On the back of the place mat was an essay written in his shaky handwriting that spilled all over despite him trying hard not to, entitled, "The World's Best Mom!"

My Mom is the best! She is a good cook. She knows my favorite foods. She is funny. She says, "hey hey hey it's Fat Albert" in a funny voice. She is an author. She loves me. She helps me with my homework.

Whenever I begin to doubt the job I do as a mother--which is every 4 .2 seconds--it is during moments like this sitting at a minuscule desk eating store bought muffins, that I have my most profound maternal epiphanies.

Parenting is the toughest and most demanding job anyone could have, but it's not terribly complicated.

This Sunday when you read your Mother's Day cards with a kid on your lap, or peering over your shoulder, or calling from farther away than you'd like, be thankful for the gift--but even more so for the accidental instruction manual.

And then enjoy a perfect day, filling your teacup with life and love to the brim.

Make sure you let it spill -- all over.

Happy Mother's Day

©2008 Tracey Henry

Divamail me! Divamail@Suburban Diva.com

I loved that... now I'm going to cry :)
Posted by Natalie, 05/09/08, 10:31am
Awww... I had my mother's day tea this morning too. I dont' know when I'll learn to bring a Kleenex.
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I sent Marmee flowers at work. She didn't think they were for her. And then they were. That was pretty cool.
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That was pretty cool, ADH. Happy Mother's Day to you.
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