By: Tanya Ward Goodman
I woke up on Mother’s Day to find a note on my pillow. It read “Have fun!” and told me to go to my son’s room to find the next clue. I followed directions and found another note that advised “the love is ithin you. Find the missing letter.” I headed to my daughter’s room for the final clue. As soon as I popped my head through the door, she sat up in bed and shouted, “Get out!” I backed away quickly, but not before I heard the sound of paper being shredded. The last clue was no more. Today, love was going to say “ithin.”
While my husband tried to stage manage this current drama, I went downstairs where my son was engrossed in Minecraft on the Xbox. I’m pretty sure he gave a grunt that could be construed as a Mother’s Day greeting.
I have to admit to feeling a bit let down, but this lasted about three seconds and then I thought about how I could take advantage of the hysteria upstairs and the screen-related zombification downstairs and actually enjoy my morning. I poured myself a cup of coffee and opened the newspaper. After nearly ten years, I think I might actually be getting the hang of this parenting thing.
In what was a nearly unprecedented bout of alone time, I got through the entire New York Times Magazine, the Style section and most of the Week in Review before everyone turned up in a slightly better mood. My daughter brought down a box of cards and letters and signs and drawings that she’d been working on for the better part of a month. On every page were hearts and flowers and sweet words. My son put down his controller long enough to give me a potted plant and a great, big hug and then he came down with a fever and went back to bed.
This year, Mother’s Day for me included a lot of mothering. I mothered my feverish son and my daughter who was angry and loving in turns. But I also went to a yoga class and returned to a wonderful brunch cooked by my loving husband. I looked after my family and felt them return the favor. The love was not “ithin,” it was all around.