Call Me Momomo
On Mother’s Day, I think not just of my mom and my own role as a mother, but also of the person whose unfathomable sacrifice gave me that title in the first place. I think of A’s birthmom every single day. After my daughter was born, I struggled to find the words to say ‘thank you’ to her. And I did my best, in spoken word and in written letters. Eventually I concluded that the language, despite its power and beauty, does not provide words adequate for this lofty purpose. You cannot simply thank someone for a life. Instead, I try to live each day with a grateful heart and never to forget. It seems like the very least I could do.
Mother’s Day was fairly quiet. I received a balloon, an iTunes gift card, some dark chocolate, and a bouquet of flowers. The main gift I asked for was: an uninterrupted meal. I wanted to complete one meal without having to pick up anyone’s fork off the floor, refill cups of juice, or bellow, “Stop throwing food to the dogs!” After church, we went to a Mexican restaurant. The kid ordered macaroni and cheese, which was served with a breadstick. She slathered the breadstick with butter and proceeded to suck the butter off the breadstick. Then she asked me if she could open the other pat of butter that was sitting on her plate. I began to argue with her about it, but then started chanting “uninterrupted meal, uninterrupted meal” and rocking in my chair so that her dad could handle it.
“Father, can I open the other butter?” she asked.
“Sure!” He smiled and nodded at me, watching to see if I was twitching from the wrongness of his response. I looked down and ate my 800th tortilla chip instead (do those things multiply after they set the basket on your table? sure seems like it).
A few seconds later, I looked over to see my sweet little cherub sticking her tongue directly into the small plastic butter container. She cut out the middleman (the breadstick) and went straight for the cholesterol prize. By the time we headed out, she had eaten two pats of butter, five mostaccioli noodles, and the whipped cream off the complimentary sopapilla dessert. And we wonder why her height is in the tenth percentile.
We stayed home the rest of the day. I did some shopping on iTunes and then steam cleaned the carpets. Every so often A would ask, "Is it STILL Mother's day?" Apparently this "being nice to your primary caregiver" thing was stressing her out, because she landed in time-out twice before bedtime. She actually seemed surprised to learn that throwing dirt at the dog's head is a time-outable offense. There I go again with my unreasonable expectations.