Not only was yesterday Mother's Day, but it was my 38th birthday. These two occasions only collide about every six years or so which causes a good amount of "PPP"- present purchasing panic- for my husband.
Looking from the outside in, some may think I get slighted on this buy one, get one free special occasion day, in the same way those poor calendar-challenged children who pop into the world on Christmas Day are destined forever to receive the "combined" gift. No matter how you slice that birthday cake, it will still be difficult to recognize your day as special when you have to compete with the baby Jesus. Colorful streamers, rented inflatables and themed party hats fall painstakingly short when trying to outshine the entrance of the Messiah.
My day, however, was not snubbed in anyway, as one occasion did not cancel out the other. In fact, the entire weekend was restful, relaxing and fun which are all descriptive words rarely used in a busy household with small children. Upon reflection, my combo of occasions could not have played out any better.
Here is the recap:
I spent the morning drinking coffee with a friend and then meandered over to the Barnes and Noble next door. Please notice that I just used the word meandered. What mom ever gets to meander? Friends, I am here to tell you that not only did I meander, but I meandered WELL. I perused the aisles of books, without rush and without accompanying anyone to the bathroom, and chose four titles containing small typed words and lots of pages.
(If you love to read the way that I do, you understand then that skinny books with large printed words are an insult to those who want to immerse themselves in a good read and stay a while.All you have to do is blink at those scrawny books with letters that are too big and the story is suddenly over, leaving you $15.99 poorer and back in the real world way too soon.)
Friday night found us at the baseball field watching my oldest, Chase, play in a game that brings him, and us, much joy. When he smacked it into left field, surprising himself and the left fielder, it was all I could do not to run the bases with him, which I would have been willing to do if not wearing my favorite wedge sandals.
I was able to sleep late, awaking at 7:45 in the morning. To some, this may seem awfully early, but again, there are small children in my house, and if your eyes open to the morning sunshine rather than the pre-dawn dark, it is reason to rejoice. Soon after, we loaded up the SUV for another trip to the ball field, this time to watch Chandler's T-ball team.
This is the best entertainment in town and it is absolutely free. In fact, I am certain that there were those in the stands, not associated with any of the players, that came just for comic relief. Those little players, aged four through six, were so dadgum cute in their too big britches and baseball hats, it was all I could do to keep from running out on the field and hugging their little necks. These pee-wee players ran from the ball, ran into each other, and ran the bases the wrong way. One runner even left his place at second base to help the other team field the ball in right field. Precious and priceless.
Saturday afternoon, and through timing only Jesus Himself could have arranged, I had the pool to myself. My two boys were across the street playing with friends and Mary Mac was on a play date at a local park. (Maybe you didn't catch that: I WAS BY MYSELF. Glory be to God in the highest!) I read my book, laying in a lounge chair for a while and then moved to the shade of my porch. All while reading my book. BY MYSELF.
That night we went to a cookout at the home of some of our friends. There were 8 adults and 10 children, but somehow, in keeping consistent with this rare restful, fun and relaxing theme of a weekend, everyone had a great time. The children were entertained, the adults were able to have conversation, and not one monkey fit was thrown by parent or child. Are you beginning to appreciate my birthday/mother's day weekend miracle?
Sunday morning we went to church and then to a Mother's Day brunch. This brunch can be somewhat on the formal side, and has the potential to cause more apprehension than relaxation on the behalf of parents. But, with God as my witness, the following truthfully occurred:
1. Everyone drank from glasses without plastic straws, and not one drop was spilled.
2. No one fell out of their chair, including my husband, John.
3. No one turned to the patrons at the next table and said, "Excuse me. I just burped."
4. Outbursts of songs were kept to a minimum.
5. I ate my lunch at a pace that was not rushed, and not one person ate their lunch while sitting in my lap. This too, includes my husband, John.
That afternoon I opened my gifts, separated meticulously into piles identified as Mother's Day and those designated as Birthday, while eager, joyful faces watched my every move as I delighted over each present. They couldn't contain their excitement, announcing the identity of each gift long before the paper was actually removed.
"Mom, when you remove that bow, you're gonna love the diamond cross daddy bought you."
"Isn't is so neat how daddy hid the Braves baseball tickets way down in this basket?"
"That box doesn't look like it has a credit card (gift certificate) in it, does it?"
Nope. Not slighted one little bit. In fact, I'm counting down the years until the next combo occasion emerges on the calendar. It's a two for one deal not to be missed.
John, Chase, Chandler, and Mary Mac - you continue to be my absolute joy. I love you!