For the longest time I didn’t take the greeting card day (Mother’s Day) that seriously. It was a nice excuse for breakfast in bed and a little attention from the kids. We try to spend it with either my mother or my mother in-law, two mothers who did extraordinary jobs raising their families (if I do say so myself).
This year, however, I decided to grab the excuse of the “holiday” and use it to my advantage. I’ve noticed that over the past few months, well, for maybe as long as a year, our family has been going off in all different directions. It’s not a bad thing, children grow up and assert their independence and create their own lives. I’m glad they’re doing that, but it doesn’t stop me from missing spending time with them. If I even suggest a “family game night” they all roll their eyes at me and ask me what planet I’m from. Even if we do sit down to play a game, the boys will conspire against the rest of us and hijack the game. So, enough of that.
I decided that this year, I’d use Mother’s Day to get what I wanted: time with the kids doing something I wanted to do — which I knew they would gripe about for years to come. I told them a few weeks in advance that their gift to me was going to be spending the day with me and their dad on a hike.
Given their reactions you’d think I’d asked them trek across the Sahara Desert. “Are you kidding? A hike? How boring is that? Why do you want me to go?” But they did it — well at least two of them came along. The third had to work.
There was lots of griping about “how is this fun?” as we climbed the warm and dusty, leafless trail. I enjoyed it, and I also enjoyed listening to their complaining. Seeing as I would have been saying just about the exact same words when I was their age, I just tuned it out and kept going.
Listening to the bickering is becoming nostalgic in a way. It doesn’t happen as frequently as it used to. They have conversations with each other that don’t involve arguing more and more often (at least when I eavesdrop outside a room) and whether they realize it or not, one day they will be glad to have each other around….really, they will….I’m sure of it. So, I put up with the bickering and the complaining while forcing them to do something they don’t want to, knowing that one day, a very, very long time from now, they will turn around and thank me for forcing them to hike together. Right?