Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Isn't she cute with her toddler step stool?  Do you see how well she can reach the doorknob?

 Looking back, I can barely even remember the time when I could set her down and she didn't go anywhere.  And were her cheeks really that chubby?  I don't think she ever chewed on the wooden baby teether, not even once.

Rose dressed up as a beautiful flower fairy.

Don't worry -  this one was staged.

I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day as a holiday.  I love the opportunity to honor my mother (and mother-in-law),  but over the years I've decided that Mother's Day is bad for me.  I think it's all the pressure to be appreciated.  I never get to sleep in and my family always dissolves into tantrums while I try to do something quiet and focused for once.  Usually I end Mother's Day feeling either like crying or packing a backpack and quietly moving to New Zealand.

In light of now being three decades old and therefore wiser and more mature, I decided to take Mother's Day into my own hands this year.  I woke up before everyone else on Saturday and brushed my hair, something I only get to do about twice a month.  Then I finished knitting a sleeved on Clothilde's Phoebe sweater.  Bliss!  I couldn't even believe it was happening without someone climbing on me. 

Once the children were awake I did massive amounts of laundry and swept, mopped, and oiled the wood floors while Ethan slept in (he wasn't feeling well).  All three children helped out and had a great time.  There was a minor tussle taking the spray bottle of water and vinegar away from the toddler (she was squirting us all with it).  By the time Ethan was awake, I had even already planned a special breakfast for Sunday and taken the recycling out.  I of course realize how transient a clean house is, but it really made Mother's Day wonderful.

On Sunday morning, sleeping in was actually enforced because Clothilde flopped over my legs and I couldn't move without waking her up!  That morning I made sausage patties for breakfast with our home-raised pork and even dried sage from the garden, our eggs fried in butter, and soaked-flour pancakes made with home-made Matsoni yogurt with strawberries and local wildflower honey.  Everyone was delighted.  Pancakes are a rare treat for us because eating something that sweet first off in the morning makes me feel funny all day.  It was fine when paired with sausage and eggs, though.

I spent the rest of the day starting more seeds for the garden and making a grass-fed beef stew and an apple tart for my mom for dinner.  We brought dinner to her house, and I picked a bouquet of wild and garden flowers for her.  My brother, who is back in town after finishing yet another semester at CMU, came over for a rare visit.  It was a wonderful day, the best Mother's Day yet. 

If there's anything I've learned in my time here, it's that you really have to appreciate yourself, too.  There's just no way my family could ever have given me a clean house for Mother's Day, but making it happen as a gift for myself was wonderful.  And since I wouldn't be a mother without all of them, doing nice things for them on Mother's Day not only made everyone very happy, it also seemed appropriate.

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