On the perfect Mother’s Day, I’d wake up to breakfast in bed served at exactly the right time and temperature. My darling children would present me with eggs, bacon, hash browns and a perfectly-buttered English muffin, and then graciously offer to “take” the carbs for me while I gobbled the bread and potatoes, since their little bodies will easily burn them off.
But the perfect Mother’s Day would also mean I’d wake up in a clean, dark, air-conditioned hotel room. I wouldn’t even look at the time.
I’d lie there in the silence, dozing on and off, until I felt like I was completely rested. Room service would arrive through an opening in the wall so I didn’t need to get up or see the person delivering it.
On the perfect Mother’s Day, I’d open beautiful handmade cards that my children made just for me. I’d admire their printing and compliment their crayon drawings of us together. I’d get a jewelry box made from a tissue box covered in construction paper and I’d listen to an off-key song they made up about how much they love me.
But the perfect Mother’s Day would also mean I’d be lavished with the gifts my family has thoughtfully chosen. I’d open package after package and none of them would be items I’d bought, wrapped and handed to my husband so he could sign the gift tag. I’d be sent to the spa for the afternoon. I’d leave feeling pampered and rejuvenated.
On the perfect Mother’s Day, I’d spend quality time with my family. My children would look up at me adoringly with scrubbed faces and clean fingernails. My husband would gaze at me and wonder, out loud, how he got so lucky.
I’d whip up a special meal for my own mother, and my sister would fawn over us both.
But the perfect Mother’s Day would also mean I’d spend the whole day blissfully alone. I wouldn’t hear a single whine, tattle, complaint or “I-just-have-to-tell-you” disguised as a tattle. I’d be deliciously selfish and wouldn’t do anything for anyone else. I would do exactly what I wanted to do, all day long.
On the perfect Mother’s Day, I wouldn’t be impatient when I was putting the kids to bed. I’d read aloud from an interesting children’s book I’d never read before and they would listen in awe as I gave each character a different voice. No one would complain they couldn’t see the pictures or to “please pause” while they run to the bathroom, like I am a human television set.
But the perfect Mother’s Day would also mean I got to skip the bedtime routine and make my husband supervise the nightly teeth-jammies-story-prayers circus. While he was finding the Grade 1 reading log and reminding our youngest not to throw her dirty clothes on the floor (like she does EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.) I would be a full two levels away watching Netflix and beaming.
The trouble with the “perfect” Mother’s Day is that it’s impossible to achieve. So this year, let’s remind ourselves that it’s not supposed to be the single best day of the year, as much as we deserve that.
It’s just a day when our children find little ways to show us they love us and we do the same for our own mothers. That, in itself, sounds pretty perfect..
Heather Laura Clarke is a freelance journalist who married her high-school sweetheart. They moved from the city to the country, where they spend their days making messes and memories with their six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter. Follow their family’s adventures over at www.LaptopstoLullabies.com.