Mother’s Day and the Very, Very, Very Low Bar

Ah, back in my uncomfortable office chair. The extremely fake leather on the arms of it have long since torn open to expose about as much padding as a high quality piece of paper might offer. It’s been many months now since I’ve written anything, which isn’t to say I haven’t often thought about it. So much has happened since my last offering and as I sit here wondering if that’s a bolt I feel under my butt or if I perhaps sat on a toy, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the idea of where to begin.

Last night I was struck with a heavy urge to log in and write…something. Anything. Again, the momentary panic crept upon me. What do I say after a long absence? Surely my first post in months should be something profound. As I had done many times in the same situation, I shut down my computer and went upstairs to bed. I got into the covers, being careful not to wake up my beautiful wife. She was so peaceful. That’s when I noticed v-shaped sagging of our mattress again. I sat there thinking about our friends who have owned 2 different mattresses since we purchased this one. How could she fall asleep so easily on such a crappy mattress? The answer is pretty simple; it doesn’t take much to make her happy.

And I knew what I wanted to write about.

I had a small vision for this blog. Certainly nothing long term. I realize that the vast majority of people who have ever read a single word on this website are people who also have my phone number. What pressure am I under really? I’ve had probably two people question why they never see new updates from me, and one of them sleeps 1-3 feet away from me every night. Clearly there are few expectations of me as it pertains to blogging. If there’s any pressure, it’s minimal, and we are clearly dealing with the heavy scrutiny of the same woman whose current favorite food is pre-packaged cupcakes. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.

It’s a very, very, very low bar for me to live up to.

Which brings me to Mother’s Day. First, a heart-felt belated Mother’s Day to any who might be reading. I’ve had many motherly figures in my life, and I love all of them dearly. Still, it seems appropriate to say that the most important mother in my life right now is the mother to my children. So on a day that many people feel is meant to honor the mothers in this world, I’m short on ideas as to how to show my appreciation to her. Lucky for me, I live in this digital age where countless articles are written by countless people, all of whom claim to know, “The Top 10 Things She Wants for Mother’s Day!”

For anyone looking to be bombarded by anything from the stale (GET HER FLOWERS AND ALL THE CHOCOLATES!) to the uproar educing (TAKE THOSE LITTLE BRATS AWAY FROM THE GODDESS MOTHER!), these articles are probably very helpful. I, on the other hand, was at a loss. So much so that late Saturday evening, as Mother’s Day loomed on the horizon, I conceded that I had no plan at all, and asked my wife if there was anything she wanted. Her answer was perfectly simple, “Just a nice day with everyone.”

Nice…sure.

A simple request, but per our usual routine of chaos, I found it hard to deliver on something so, well, simple. Sleeping in turned into sleeping in…..ish. Breakfast in bed turned into family picnic time in bed, which turned into family TV time in bed. Still, the boys were on good behavior, and I was feeling quite pleased with myself. That feeling lasted till I had fed to boys lunch and put Carter in bed for his nap. That’s when my Saturday slapped me right in the face. In an effort to be completely available on Mother’s Day, I did a massive amount of work outside on Saturday. Somewhere in the 12 hour range. Turns out I was tired the next day. I tried my best, but with Carter asleep and William playing nicely with mommy, I fell asleep with what I’m sure was an, “I’m disappointed in myself” face. I fell asleep on the smallest portion of our sectional couch. My feet hanging off the edge, and covered by a blanket that would either cover my top half or bottom half. I chose bottom. I chose poorly.

Somewhere in my slumber, I realized that it was still Mother’s Day, and that I had in fact fallen asleep, I awoke quickly, trying to get a grasp on the situation and see if there was something I should be doing. That’s when I realized that my foot had become tangled in the blanket. I was stuck, and still too tired to remember that I could just reach back and undo my foot from the death grip the blanket had put on me. So instead, I laid there, face down, one foot flailing frantically in the air as if it was trying to swat away a fly. And from my wife, the laughter started, but perhaps something was funny on TV. My foot continued to do an impression of a dog with peanut butter on the roof of it’s mouth, and the laughing got noticeably loud. So I looked up at a very pleased mother of two, laughing uncontrollably at her husband. In a moment of weakness I might add.

I guess what I’m saying here is, I don’t always like those stupid article lists of overused, boring ideas that supposedly “every mother wants.” I like to get my wife flowers for no particular reason, and with her work schedule, she really tends to want more time with her kids, not an excuse to take them away. Lots of people are tired of holidays like Mother’s/Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day because we think of these days as a requirement for some sad offering to prove our love or loyalty. Of course, if all we do to recognize these days are run to Wal Mart the night before to get a bunch of painfully old flowers and the first card that doesn’t make us want to vomit, that’s all it will ever be.

Maybe you don’t have to play the “today’s a holiday game” to show someone special that you care. I will say that my wife had a good Mother’s Day, and maybe it was just luck that everything went well for us that day. Still, she had a nice day with everyone, and got to see me flail around like an idiot.

And a card.

Not too bad.

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