This was the first Mother’s Day where I have actually had my significant other plan festivities for the day. I’ve never really been fortunate enough to have a caring partner to do thoughtful things like honor Mother’s Day or other special days for that matter…..until now. And even better, having some type of conscious thought put into the days’ events makes it even more special. I think it is because women typically do this for those that they love. We plan it for months, checking with our closest gal pals to ensure that we’ve gotten consensus to confirm what we knew all along that our partner would enjoy. We make a big deal of an event, no matter how small and we NEVER forget those events. In fact, we keep a log of the events we plan so that from year to year, we are assured that we don’t repeat a prior year’s festivities. We like variety and planning fun and memorable things for our loved ones. Deep down, we even love the joy on their faces more than we enjoy receiving something on our own special days. Why? Because that is just what mommies do. Their joy is our joy, their happiness, well, it is really ours deep down.
So, for Mother’s Day this year, my dear David had not been feeling well for an entire week before this special day. That didn’t stop him a bit. He was insistent to cook dinner for me, no matter how simple and he would not allow me to help in any way whatsoever because it was Mother’s Day – it was my day and I was not to do any type of work whatsoever. He is still recovering from being sick – really sick – in bed, in his jammies sick – an especially hard feat for my sweet man, because he is the type of guy that gets out of bed, showers, shaves, combs his hair, puts on his cologne, and gets dressed no matter how bad he feels. His thought is that by getting up and moving, by getting dressed and feeling clean and fresh, you’ll feel better and be in a better state of mind, no matter how sick you are. Funny, my parents, especially my pop always held those same values to the day he passed. So, after lazing around for the morning, David gets showered and dressed, and opts to run some errands – actually driving when he had not driven for several days because he was just not up to it. He went to the market and came home with things for dinner and began food prep right away. He put the coals on the grill, chopped up red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, placed them on skewers with large prawns, wound with a twist of bacon, and marinated in butter and spices. He grilled them along with chicken marinated in Mexican spices, whipped up his secret-recipe guacamole, and set out appetizers, complete with salsa and baby coronas. Once the chicken was finished, we sat down on the back deck, the cool spring breeze blowing gently as we enjoyed the scrumptious dinner that Dave had prepared – all while I sat in the lounge chair without lifting a finger. I was finally able to convince him to let me help clean the kitchen, as he was beginning to tire from the days’ events.
Later, I went to pick up my oldest daughter and she came in and had dinner too, then watched some television with us. She was exhausted from a long day at theatre, so after she ate dinner, she plopped her head on my chest and like she has done so many times before, she had me rub her head like I used to do when she was a little girl. Shortly after she was asleep – resting quietly across my chest, her long brown curls sprayed gently across my neck. As I rubbed her head softly, I felt Dave smiling at what has been the staple of motherhood in my life for nearly 23 years – my first-born resting quietly, her ear against my chest hearing my heartbeat like she used to do when she was a newborn. Now, all those years later, though fewer, she still lets me be a mom to her and retracts to a time when she was so much younger – a little baby girl, my baby girl.
My youngest daughter does the same, gently resting against me and reverting to that little baby that I gently swaddled in my robe, her little head poking through the neckline, a tuft of dark brown hair sticking out from between the folds of soft terry. How I miss those days when my girls were babies – little, little babies, with impatient cries to be fed or diapered and soft moaning noises, deep in their throats signaling a sound sleep. Or the times when they were curious toddlers, just waiting for the next opportunity to explore and get themselves into trouble and then flash a devilish smile and squeal of laughter as they ran from me with delight. Those are some of my fondest memories of my girls when they were newborn and toddlers. I look at my precious babies now and they are grown for the most part – this year they will turn 23 and 16 respectively and within three days of each other. Both are August babies – little Leos. The difference this year is that I have the most wonderful man in the world by my side to also honor me as a mommy among other titles. For all of this, I am grateful – I could not ask for more.