There are all sorts of mothers: Helicopter moms, stage mothers, mother hens. Ask our children and they will tell you I am a mixture of them all. Part Captain Sulley, part Joan Rivers. This morning, not coincidentally at the start of Mother's Day weekend, their mother - the in-house air traffic controller and executive producer of their school day, conducted an experiment. I took myself out of the game. Sidelined and benched. The exercise was a combo deal: I could be temporarily released from my motherly morning duties in order to sleep in AND I could drive home my message that moms shouldn't be taken for granted. Let the natives mange the chaos themselves, I thought.
For some time I have been threatening to give our children under this roof the experience of a lifetime - a walk in mom's bedroom slippers. Underappreciation (and too many school science experiments) had driven me to the brink! It's a pretty pampered world our kids live in here. And i'm solely responsible for creating the morning monsters who regularly get up on the wrong side of the bed, and might as well prefer nails over wheaties for breakfast.
In fairness, I gave them notice - plenty. But apparently it wasn't enough. I expected to sleep through it all, waking up to an empty house and the sound of silence. The calm after the storm. It didn't quite play out that way. Their father awakened ME to ask if our girls were planning to go to school today. The nerve! The Today Show's Ann Curry had already tossed to Al Roker and weather when the kids discoverd they had overslept. Uniforms never touched an iron, and breakfast was a handful of throat losinges. Today at lunch i'm sure they were at the mercy of their friends with handouts.
What I intended to be a lesson to the kids about their reliance on their mother, seemed to fall flat. There was no ah-ha moment for them, like "Mom, please, you have to help me straighten my hair." Just frustration and heavy sighs as they fled the house like a disaster drill in hopes of escaping another tardy slip. (They didn't!)
In their wake, evidence of a harried morning with them flying solo. I may or may not try this again, and it remains to be seen whether the experiment was lost on our children. This much I do know: come Monday morning, this mother will be back 'on duty', appreciative to have uniforms to iron, sandwiches to make, eggs to cook, and beautiful, healthy children to do it for!
To all the mother's in the world, especially my mother-in-law, may your load be lightened, and your special day be filled with love, joy and laughter. After all, it 'Manners' A lot!