The kids and I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to come with the perfect plan to give my wife — their mother — the most perfect Mother’s Day gift in the world this Sunday.
Currently, the best idea we have come up with is skipping town.
Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t considering this plan because we don’t love our dear matriarch … quite the opposite, actually. Leaving town — and giving mom a day entire to herself — may just the be the kindest, sweetest, most considerate thing we can do for Michelle.
Oh, we’ve had some other ideas pop up, but it seems like everything we come up with usually just ends up being more work for my already overworked and under-appreciated wife.
I mean, we could make her breakfast in bed, but every time we do that, the kids want to help. That usually means pancake batter slopped across the kitchen floor, cracked egg shells that somehow make it out of the kitchen and somewhere else in the house that we don’t find until months later when we started smelling them and a cup of coffee that sits there until it gets ice cold because I’m trying to break up some sort of skirmish between my children.
This also means creating a racket big enough to wake up mom, who would probably much rather skip the breakfast — and the bacon that Sophie has managed to drop on the floor at least three times before it hits the plate — and sleep in instead. It also means her coming downstairs, finding an absolute disaster in the kitchen and starting to clean it up before I have a chance to stop her.
Of course, all of this could also be avoided, I suppose, by taking her out to eat. That’s always a real treat for her, as well, as it tends to involve her spending most of her meal cutting up food for other people (because “only mommy does it right”) or taking kids to the restroom (I suppose because only mommy does that right, as well). If we are lucky, she may be able to shovel in about three bites of food before the rest of us have polished off our pre-cut meals.
We could get gifts for her, but that never seems to turn out very well for her, either. I mean, I would have thought she would have loved it when I got us tickets to see professional wrestling at the Nutter Center one year — but the look on her face certainly told me otherwise. I mean, she watches wrestling with the rest of us all the time at home. I guess I never bothered to stop and think that was only because I seldom let anyone else in the house have the remote control.
Certainly doing chores for her would be a nice gesture — but that always seems to head in the same direction as making her breakfast in bed. Generally speaking, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, as we end up creating more work for her than if we had just let her do it herself in the first place. I mean, how was I supposed to know that mixing bleach with ammonia would create something akin to mustard gas?
These are things they don’t teach you in high school chemistry class, folks. Or maybe they do. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention in high school chemistry class.
Mothers are a rare, wonderful, irreplaceable thing. Truthfully, I don’t know how they do it. From the moment the children are born — a process which, in itself, makes them better than dads could ever hope to be — they are the ones who feed them, clothe them, take care of them when they are sick, get them where they need to be and generally make sure everything in their lives runs smoothly. There’s a reason why, when the cameras show a football player on the sideline during games, they never say, “Hi, dad!”
Wives and mothers (and mother figures) should be revered and honored 365 days a year. And on the one day specifically set aside for them, we should all try to do the most loving thing we can in an attempt to show them our appreciation.
In my case, that probably involves skipping town.
Reach David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong