Saturday, May 12, 2012

As the Southerners Say, Bless His Heart

That first year after having a baby was oh so difficult.  And not just because I had a tiny little person relying on me for every single thing.  A tiny baby who projectile vomitted on me, the couch, the floor, the walls, and his crib 24/7.  A lovely little thing who wouldn't let me sleep.  Who abused my chest as he took a full month to learn how to nurse properly.  And me without a single friend or relative closer than a two hour drive.  Yes, it was difficult. 

But the difficulty was compounded by my husband, who just has to learn everything the hard way.

Not once in my life had I ever had a problem with my weight until I was pregnant with Phoenix.  I started as a lean, muscular thing, but gained 45 pounds by the end of those nine months.  Three months after delivery, I celebrated my birthday.  My present from Hubby... a bathroom scale.

In the words of my children, epic fail.

As I stood over him, ready to beat the tar out of him with that bathroom scale, I gave him a moment to give any last words.

"Honey, I saw that you were losing all kinds of weight, and I thought you'd be excited to see just how much you'd lost."

I put the scale down, and Hubby and I had a bit of a chat.  Something to do with never assuming I want to know anything about my weight.  And a heads up that he better never get me a gym membership either.

Every birthday since then, I have received nothing but happy, positive gifts, like jewelry, plane tickets, or camera equipment.

After many similar types of missteps with his emotionally volatile wife, I thought we were good to go when Mother's Day rolled around.  He knew that I wasn't the kind of person to want lots of fanfare or dazzling gifts.  It shouldn't have been hard for him to pull it together.

Two days before the holiday, he approached me and said, "A guy from work has invited me to go to a game on Sunday.  I'm guessing it's OK with you." 

Me (the woman who has spent the last eight months getting puked on and not sleeping to raise his firstborn son):  "You mean Mother's Day?"

Him:  "Yes.  I thought you'd want to take Phoenix out to do something fun."


(I just looked at him, completely astounded.  My brain was having such a hard time processing that ridiculous statement that I couldn't even form a sentence to answer him.)

Luckily for him, I didn't have to.  By now he could recognize the "You sir, are an idiot," look on my face, called the guy back, and declined the invitation.

Hubby and I had yet another chat.  Something to do with the fact that I am alone with our baby every day of the week.  The last thing I want to do on Mother's Day is spend it alone with our baby.

For the last several years, the routine has been breakfast in bed (which, honestly, is more for the kids.  Do you know how hard it is to eat waffles in bed while trying to read the paper?  But, they are just so stinkin' cute, bringing everything up, seating themselves all around the bed, expectantly waiting for me to take the first bite and tell them how delicious it is.  They'd watch me eat the whole darn thing if Hubby didn't corral them downstairs to let me eat in peace.) then church, and home again.  After they change clothes, Hubby takes them out to the store to pick out flowers, which they will plant in the front flower beds.  (After they spend an hour or so weeding and cleaning out those flower beds.)  Finally, some mulch and the big reveal.  Throughout, I get to read a book, take a nap, call my mom, and whatever else my little heart desires. 

My biggest gift each year:  a day that I don't have to make a single decision.  I don't have to decide what or when we are going to eat.  No one is allowed to ask me a question starting with the words, "Can I".  It has been the one day a year my brain gets to take a break.

This year, our routine is being derailed.  Two of the boys have soccer tournaments all weekend, and the first game Sunday is at 8:00am.  

Hubby has learned.  When we found out about the tournament, he offered to take all of the kids to the games so I could have a day to myself.

Luckily for him, I have learned, too.  Mother's Day is a day that has been put on the calendar by society.   Hubby is so very good at letting me know that he appreciates what I do as a mom each and every day.  And the kids are so very good at letting me know how much they love me. 

I don't need a day to myself, most especially when it would mean Hubby has to wake 6 kids at 5:30 in the morning to get them ready to spend an entire day at the soccer fields. 

I'll take the soccer players to the soccer games and meet him for church that night.

But I'm leaving the rest of them at home. 

I may not get a day without decisions, but I really do want my flowers. 

Have a lovely Mother's Day!

I'd love to hear how you spent your day.


  1. Girlfriend I would have clocked him upside his head if it was my hubs... you are a much better person than I am! Funny how they see "help" compared to how we see it. I had to tell mine what to get after giving me nothing the first 2 mothers days, his response earned him a night on the couch and a very lengthy hurt feeling discussion from me... he said "what? you are not my mother." Yeah nearly killed the man. the frist year I went shopping for myself, my mom AND his mom... the next year I let him have it since he did not learn the first time!!!! and from then on, gift and card!

  2. Ha! My husband has said the same thing, once and only once.


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