Mother’s Day 2018

Mother’s Day 2018 was a bit of a disaster. In fact, I considered not writing about it at all this year.

We started the day with the usual cards and gifts cards. Which I completely appreciated. It was the first year all four kids were able to sign the cards themselves. That was kind of cool.

The night before Jack and Ben had gone out with Adam to buy the twins belated birthday gifts. Unfortunately everything Jack suggested, Ben though was bad. When they got home and gave the presents, Both twins liked their gifts but then Ben convinced Sam that his wasn’t good enough, that there was something better out there. Which really hurt Jack’s feelings. I had a long talk with Sam about the concept of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. There is always something better out there, being happy in life is learning to appreciate what you have.

It’s a hard concept for a 6 year old.

In fact, it’s a hard concept for a 45 year old.

Because mother’s day this year I felt kind of awful.

I spent the first part of the morning helping Sam build a lego set he got for his birthday. It took us a good 30 minutes to complete. When we were done, Jack broke it in 1 second.

Down time at home on the morning, playing with some of their new birthday toys...

Down time at home on the morning, playing with some of their new birthday toys…

We didn’t go out to eat at a nice restaurant because I didn’t feel our kid with special needs could handle it. That he would ruin the experience for me.

When we tried an outing to the zoo Adam had to practically strong arm Ben into going. Adam kept telling him to be good! Remember it’s mother’s day and to be nice to mom! That depressed me even more, that the kids had to be yelled at just to be nice to me. Why weren’t they nice to me all year? How come I only get a day? And even then it’s too hard?

I almost left without Ben and Adam, but finally Adam managed to get Ben to come with, and he promptly fell asleep in the stroller meant for the twins. I worried he would keep us awake all night after sleeping the day away.DSC_0990Playing tag after the zoo…DSC_0008

We also stopped at Cummings Park…DSC_0009 DSC_0011

At one point during the day Adam told me to relax, take a break. But I knew if I didn’t finish the laundry, dishes, clean up, whatever it was, it would just be sitting there waiting for me on Monday morning when the house is quiet and I actually do have time away from the kids. It upset me that our lifestyles are so busy there really isn’t any time to relax.

While I work in the kitchen, Aaron likes to hang out and draw.

While I work in the kitchen, Aaron likes to hang out and draw.

Evening game of Slamwich, another birthday gift.

Evening game of Slamwich, another birthday gift.

While Adam was putting the twins to bed, Sam threw a stuffed animal and it hit the lego set we built that morning, that Jack smashed and I fixed afterwards. It was smashed to pieces again!

After the twins went to bed, Adam very nicely ordered from one of my favorite restaurants, Cheng Du Impressions, for take out. I thoroughly enjoyed that too.

Then this morning as I was driving back from dropping Adam at work, I turned on this week’s podcast of ‘This American Life’. It was about breaking up. They started talking about how many break up song there were. Then they played some classic ones. When they got to Bonnie Raitt’s “I can’t make you love me, if you don’t.” I started bawling right there, by myself in the car. The foggy, rainy day was a perfect backdrop.

That song brought me back to a very specific time in my life. When I was so distraught, lonely and rejected. My mind quickly ran through all the rejections in my life. The time that I would play this very song over and over again and lay on my floor next to my pink boom box in a miserable heap. Or the year in Hong Kong when I woke up every single morning for months with a pile of snotty tissues next to my bed and I wondered if I would ever go back to falling asleep normally instead of crying myself to sleep every night. Or the time I recently moved to Shanghai and I was sitting on the balcony of my new flat looking out and thinking, I’ve been dating half my life, where the hell is he?

I was very glad not to be in any of those times in my life. For every set of Joneses, there is another set of Smiths or whoever else. It can always be better, but it can always be worse!

And as most of my readers already know, he finally did show up and together we built this breakneck pace of a life together. I can’t say I haven’t been distraught, but I haven’t been lonely since. Or rejected!

So perhaps I should be listening to my own advice. Screw the Joneses. Look around, there is plenty to be grateful for, and everything in life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to find it.

I got home and carefully rebuilt the lego set once again. Sometimes you got to fix things more than once. Ah, yet another life lesson.

And much like the other saying about life and lemons, if life gives you a pile of legos, make something beautiful. Or at least rebuild the darn thing so you aren’t left stepping on a pile of pain.

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