Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Developing Biannual Traditon

Four years ago I wrote my first blog treatise about The Mother.

Two years ago I wrote about her again.

Apparently, every two years I feel compelled to write a meandering post on Mother’s Day noting how much I appreciate The Mother of my children.  So, I suppose it’s that time again.

Although that makes it sound like a chore.  The truth of the matter is that every two years is about how often I need to be reminded of how much I rely on The Mother and appreciate her.  Obviously without her I wouldn’t have my 3 adorable children.  Who, I was just recently pondering, are very similar to the Animaniacs: one talks a lot, one eats a lot, and the other is small and cute.  It’s somewhat disconcerting living with real-life Warner Brothers (and Warner Sister), but at least it’s always entertaining.  And I would have none of that without The Mother.

Every year around Mother’s Day, we ask The Mother what she wants to do—where she wants to go, what she wants to eat, if there’s anything we can buy for her, and so forth.  Her demands are always very modest, considering.  Here’s a person who does a fair amount of cooking and cleaning, not to mention all the bill-paying and child-educating.  She plans all the family trips, handles all the appointments for medical visits, home repair, and yard work, and does all the educational and financial planning.  In return she asks for very little—this year, at her request, we’re going to relax, maybe swim in the pool a little, and grill outside.  We might go out this afternoon and buy her some wind chimes.  Not terribly taxing for a once-a-year celebration of all she does.

When we first moved to California, she decided to become a stay-at-home mother.  This despite the fact that she had continuously held a job since she was 17 (which is longer than I have, honestly).  I was convinced she would hate it.  I told her she’d be bored, that she’d fight with the kids too much.  That they’d soon be sick of each other.  But I was wrong.

She deals with crap that I don’t want to, so that I don’t have to.  Which is a good thing, because I generally suck at dealing with things I don’t enjoy.  Happily, I enjoy my chosen profession, and I enjoy going to work every day, and even more happily I’m employed by a group of people who respect me and treat me well (including paying me well).  But paying bills and dealing with repairpeople and all that: I hate all that.  So I procrastinate doing it forever, and then I suck at it when I finally get around to doing it.  Except that I don’t, and I don’t, because I don’t do it at all, because she does.

Likewise, I really suck at planning things such as vacations or children’s birthday parties.  This is partially because I’m not very organized.  But also because of my laissez-faire attitude towards outings: I prefer spontaneity and just going with the flow.  Which is one of those things that sounds nice in theory but in reality means you’re just plain unprepared.  So The Mother takes care of those things for me.  I’d like to tell you it’s because she’s better at it, but that’s not it at all.  She’s just more determined to do a good job than I am.

Sometimes I think I’m not as impressed by everything she does as I ought to be.  As time goes on and stuff just happens without you having to really think about it, it becomes easy to take the agent of those accomplishments for granted.  But it’s not like the planning fairy stops by, or the chore gnomes come out at night.  These things take time, and effort, and patience.  None of which I have a large supply of.  Happily, I don’t have to worry about it.

So, for the most part, I get to concentrate on my work, and my hobbies (such as this blog), and, when it comes to my children, I get to have the fun times without much worry over the parts that are more like work.  That’s something that is worth celebrating, I think.  And, if some food and some swimming and maybe a set of wind chimes once a year is all it costs me, I’ll count myself lucky at twice the price.

To The Mother, I say: cheers.  And thank you.  For everything you do.  It’s more than I deserve.  And I just wanted you to know that I know that.

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