"To relax, my mom likes to take a four hour nap every day."
Moms--can you imagine? When's the last time you had four uninterrupted hours to yourself to do anything, much less nap?
In kindergarten, Mother's Day is a big deal. All week long the children composed and colored to create a book about their mothers--a labor of love. Each page begins with a writing prompt such as, "My mom is special because..." The responses are sincere, funny, sweet and sometimes all of the above. As another teacher commented, "They make my heart happy."
We all know mothers labor selflessly every day and Mother's Day should be a chance to relax. So we asked the kids how their moms would like to chill out for the day. The responses were quite enlightening.
"To relax, my mom likes to change into comfy clothes and just lie on the couch."
"To relax, my mom likes to exercise and then do some yoga and then take a shower."
"To relax, my mom likes to play legos with me."
"To relax, my mom likes to go to the nail spa by herself. She tells my dad it is his turn to play with me."
"To relax, my mom likes to take a nap after she cleans the kitchen."
"To relax, my mom likes to play games on the computer and have a drink."
"To relax, my mom likes to sit on the potty and read the newspaper."
I thought about how I'd answer the question about my own mother. The past few years she's been an amazing caretaker to my grandmother who has dementia. She now cares for the mother who once cared for her. Mom is busy doing everything from laundry to bill paying, trouble shooting and advocating. It has been difficult, especially on the days that Grandma no longer recognizes her only child. Every time mom leaves the nursing home, even on the worst of days, Grandma tells her, "Watch crossing the street. That's what my mother used to say to me." Even though her mind is deteriorating, she still remembers her own mother's concern and love.
I believe that for my grandmother, "Watch crossing the street" equals "I love you."
Yes, even when you grow up, the job and joys of motherhood never end. Every mom should have an opportunity to relax occasionally. For my own mom? I can imagine she'd want to enjoy a beautiful sunny day on the golf course with good friends. Of course, shopping can be relaxing if you score the perfect bargain at T. J. Maxx. Playing bridge and enjoying a cocktail on the deck? Definitely relaxing. Same with a pedicure or a lively dinner conversation with her husband. My mom also likes to be organized. While it might sound counterintuitive, I think cleaning out a closet actually helps her feel relaxed and energized. I know I feel relaxed and energized when she cleans out my closets! She also likes to curl up on the couch with a good Harlan Coben mystery.
Mom, I love you. So this Mother's Day, relax in whatever way makes your heart happy. And watch crossing the street.